The Scottish SPCA is urging the public not to buy puppies online after seizing 13 dogs from an illegal dealer.
Officers from the Society’s Special Investigations unit (SIU) swooped on Cairnryan port over the weekend where an individual travelling from Ireland was caught with 13 dogs of various breeds.
SSPCA revealed whilst most of the pups are now lively and bright, two had to be rushed for emergency vet treatment as they were having respiratory issues.
In recent weeks, the SIU has reason to believe puppy traders may be beginning to move dogs again amid the Covid-19 pandemic with the aim of selling them to unsuspecting members of the public.
The society also said the dogs, some which were just a few weeks old, are receiving urgent vet treatment and round-the-clock care at a Scottish SPCA animal rescue and rehoming centre.
Chief superintendent Mike Flynn said: “The lockdown initially led to a dramatic decrease in activity in the puppy trade. However, we have been keeping a close eye on things and we are concerned traders and dealers are becoming more active again, even more so now lockdown restrictions have eased slightly in Scotland.
“We cannot stress this enough: the supply for badly-bred puppies will only disappear if public demand stops. Every year, thousands of pups are dying alone and in pain, at just days or weeks old, to fuel the trade. We will continue to fight the puppy trade every step of the way, but we need each and every person to do their bit to help us stop it.”
He added: “Many responsible breeders put a hold on breeding during the pandemic, but we are aware of some breeders ramping up prices due to lack of supply. This could drive people to buy a puppy without doing their homework on where they are getting it from.
“There are thousands of adverts on websites like Gumtree for puppies, but there is no guarantee you are buying from a responsible breeder when you shop online. Many dealers will use false names and phone numbers to sell a dog, making it impossible for a buyer to get a hold of them when the pup falls ill.”