| 13.6°C Dublin

More pups rescued in van swoop

GARDAI and animal welfare officers uncovered another 56 puppies in a dog smuggling operation in Dublin Port.

The animals were discovered in two cardboard boxes in the back of a van on Thursday.

The find follows a high profile seizure of 36 puppies in Dublin earlier this week.

The Dublin Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals said it believed the animals were being trafficked from puppy farms and were being taken to Britain to be sold.

A 46-year-old man was arrested in relation to the seizure at Dublin Port and taken to Store Street Garda Station.

He has since been released and investigations are ongoing.

A representative from the DSPCA said that the latest haul of pups, ranging in age from three to eight weeks, have been taken into quarantine.

But the organisation believes this is just a small aspect of a major puppy farm exporting industry here.

"This is the second discovery in the space of a few days," Gillian Bird told the Herald.

"The first one was a fluke but the second one happened because everyone was keeping an eye out for it.

"We have no idea about figures because we haven't caught them doing it before.

"I think it is the tip of the iceberg in terms of numbers."

It is thought the dogs could be worth up to €700 each on the black market.

On Tuesday, 36 young puppies were discovered in two cars at Coolock in Dublin

The puppies found at Dublin Port are a mixture of Shih Tzu, dachshund and labradoodle -- a labrador/poodle cross.

The dogs cannot be fostered at this stage as they are currently part of the investigation.

But the DSPCA will be looking for permanent homes for them in the coming months.

Further information is available at www.dspca.ie