TEN puppies have been rescued by the RSPCA after they were imported illegally into Fishguard Harbour.

Dyfed Powys Police contacted the RSPCA after the puppies were discovered after being illegally imported from Rosslare Harbour, Republic of Ireland to Fishguard Harbour on 13 June.

Fishguard Puppies logo 1The puppies were aged between nine and 16 weeks old and did not have the required documentation for compliance with rabies requirements. RSPCA inspector Keith Hogben attended the port and due to welfare concerns the puppies were signed over to the RSPCA and were immediately put into quarantine.

Out of the 10 dogs, there were seven Labrador type dogs between 13 to 16 weeks – five male and two female. There were also three male terrier type dogs, which were nine to 12 weeks old.

Inspector Hogben said: “Sadly this case is an example of what happens far too often – puppies imported to be sold for profit with no regard for their welfare or the law.

“I have been monitoring their progress over the past few weeks during their quarantine period – where they have been in isolation. Despite their ordeal they all seem well and alert, and are a lovely bunch of puppies.Fishguard puppies logo 3

“They have regularly been seen by a vet, received a full health check, been given their vaccinations and been wormed. We have also started work to socialise them and this will continue at a rehoming centre.”

RSPCA Cymru superintendent Martyn Hubbard said: “Sadly puppy trafficking is big business, with dealers making huge profits bringing in large numbers of highly sought after pure-bred puppies and also cross-breed puppies.

“A lot of buyers won’t realise the reality of where their puppy has come from. They are effectively buying blind.

“Many of the puppies being imported are too young to have been removed from their mothers and have not been vaccinated against disease. Some puppies die in transit and for most, it will be a very frightening experience. There is also a risk of puppies falling sick shortly after purchase, leaving their owners heartbroken and lumbered with huge vet bills.

Fishguard pups 4“Luckily in this case these puppies were brought to our attention as soon as they arrived at the port, we have been able to make sure they have had a full health check, are vaccinated, wormed and we have started to socialise them so they are ready to be rehomed.

“I have no doubt that these puppies will all find loving homes – there has already been interest in a couple of them already. However, many other imported puppies are not so lucky.”

If you would like to help the RSPCA, you can give £3 now by texting HELP to 78866 (text costs £3 + one standard network rate message). We are a charity and rely on public donations to exist.

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RSPCA advice to consumers when buying a puppy

Some key points include:
- Use the RSPCA/AWF Puppy Contract for the best chance of buying a happy, healthy puppy.
- Do lots of research to decide the best place to get a puppy from.
- Never buy a puppy who is under 8 weeks old.
- Always see the puppy at least once with his/her mother in the place where he/she was born.
- Never buy from someone who offers to deliver the puppy, or meet you somewhere with the puppy.
- Check vaccination certificates and other documents carefully, dealers often fake official documents.
- Is the puppy bright and alert or lethargic and nervous? If something doesn’t seem right, it probably isn’t…
- Don’t line the pockets of puppy traffickers, walk away and report your concerns to your local trading standards office and the RSPCA immediately on 0300 1234 999.
- The RSPCA has thousands of dogs who need a second chance. Consider giving one of our rescued dogs or puppies a chance at happiness.