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17 dogs seized in small crates boarding ferry bound for Wales


Some of the dogs seized at Rosslare last week

Some of the dogs seized at Rosslare last week

Some of the dogs seized at Rosslare last week

Some of the dogs seized at Rosslare last week


Some of the dogs seized at Rosslare last week

A total of 17 dogs were discovered loaded into small crates and cages in the back of a horse transporter that was attempting to board a ferry to Wales last week.

The dogs were seized as part of an operation that involved customs officers, gardaí, officers from the ISPCA and local WSPCA and Wexford County Council's dog warden.

The animals were seized due to concerns about the conditions in which they were being transported, along with suspicions that they did not have all the required valid pet passports, something which is required by law.

It is believed that the animals had been transported from Limerick, on to Laois and then down to Wexford to catch the ferry.

The dogs were a mixture of breeds, including terriers, pugs, spaniels, collies, hounds and Labradors. They were initially cared for by the Wexford dog warden and the WSPCA before being moved to the ISPCA's National Animal Centre after a full assessment by a veterinary practitioner.

ISPCA inspectors are now liaising with customs officials to investigate the matter further and to establish what potential offences may have been committed. They also said that none of the dogs would be available for re-homing at the moment.

'We were just assisting on the night really,' said Brigid Cullen of the WSPCA. 'The cages were very cramped and they had no water, which was a major concern. Some of the dogs were a bit underweight, but they were happy and friendly enough once we took them out. Most of them were young dogs, apart from the pug.'

Some of the dogs are reportedly micro-chipped and these chips will be checked by the ISPCA in a bid to find out if the animals were stolen or surrendered, or who their registered owners are.

'What's concerning is that there would be dogs going out of our ports all the time that wouldn't be detected,' said Ms Cullen said.

'I remember a few years ago we discovered dogs hidden in the floor of a camper van that was heading out from Rosslare and they were only happened upon by chance.'

If you see anything suspicious or believe an animal is being cruelly treated, neglected or abused, contact the ISPCA National Animal Cruelty Helpline in confidence on 1890 515 515 or report online at

In case of an emergency, contact the local gardaí.

Wexford People