Five Labrador puppies have been found dead in a ditch in a secluded spot on Pegmire Lane in the village of Aldenham, just outside of the town of Watford in Hertfordshire.
A member of the public who was travelling down the road was shocked to find the lifeless bodies of four young Labrador puppies on Wednesday (25 May) near the small village. The RSPCA were immediately contacted and came to investigate the grim discovery.
On arrival, a further body of another young Labrador pup was found strewn in the undergrowth of the leafy country lane. All of the labradors were different colours and it is thought that they may have even been from different litters.
RSPCA deputy chief inspector Melanie Fisher said: “Turning up in the middle of the night to find this graveyard of puppies sent shivers down my spine.
“The small pups were just completely lifeless, scrawny and absolutely stank of urine, which tells me that they are unlikely to have come from a clean living environment. They were barely eight weeks old and it truly breaks my heart to think of what they must have been through only to then end up in a ditch like this, with their little lives cut unnecessarily short.
“We have also just recently been made aware of an incident where a border collie puppy was also found dead and dumped in the same spot, just a few weeks ago.
“We do not know for certain what happened here and are calling for information which can help us investigate, but what concerns me is that these deeply sad incidents can sometimes be due to irresponsible breeding on a large scale, purely for profit, and it really shows the dark and sinister side of the puppy trade.
“There is a danger that we may have potentially unearthed some kind of puppy graveyard – a place where irresponsible breeders dump unwanted puppies when they get sick, die or are surplus to requirements, in spots such as this where I assume they hope nobody will ever find them.
“However they have been found, and we are now looking to get to the bottom of this cold and callous act.
“We are appealing to members of the public who may know where these puppies may have come from or how they came to end up in a ditch like this. Anyone who may know anything can contact me in complete confidence on our inspectorate appeal line on 0300 123 8018.
“The puppy trade is a big business with dealers often getting rich and leaving a devastating trail of sick and dead puppies behind them – lives like those of these poor souls are just expendable, they are treated as commodities.
“I just hope that this horrific discovery will educate people who are thinking of getting an animal and that people will be responsible and think carefully before getting a puppy.”
The RSPCA is working to eradicate the puppy trade in the UK and beyond. The charity is calling on government in England to introduce mandatory licensing for anyone selling puppies in England. We are also working to educate the public and help them have the best chance of buying a happy, healthy puppy responsibly and would advise anyone looking to buy a dog to use our Puppy Contract online, developed alongside Animal Welfare Foundation.To read more about the #scrapthepuppytrade campaign please visit: http://ow.ly/WEKH300BYBb