Homes needed as 116 smuggled puppies rescued
Three men were questioned after animal welfare chiefs seized 116 puppies squashed into two vehicles in an attempt to smuggle them out of the country.
The puppies, believed to be between five and eight weeks old, were last night in the care of the Dublin Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (DSPCA) after customs officers discovered them in the back of two vans boarding a ferry at Dublin Port for the UK.
It is understood the seizure was part of a long-term investigation.
This is the first case, involving a large number of companion animals, to be seized under the new Animal Health and Welfare Act 2013.
No arrests were made at the scene of the operation at 8pm on Wednesday. However, a man in his 40s was questioned by customs officers about the animals. Also questioned were two middle-aged men with addresses in Co Carlow and Co Armagh. It is alleged one of the vehicles was not certified for transporting animals and that the puppies did not fresh water.
None of the puppies had a pet passport, which is required under legislation. But one cannot be issued until a puppy is 15 weeks old.
Gillian Bird, DSPCA spokeswoman, said the puppies were separated in the back of the vans into breeds, which included pugs, huskies, cockers, Yorkshire terriers and designer breeds such as Labradoodles.
"The breeds of the puppies include a variety of small breeds and were destined for the UK market."
Ms Bird said most were in fairly good condition, apart from being young, but 32 needed veterinary care.
The DSPCA said the puppies were not available for adoption yet as the matter is being investigated. However, it is expected foster homes will be needed.