Heartbreaking pictures of adorable puppies expose the UK's sickening Christmas pet trade; You might want to read this before you consider buying a pet for Christmas.
Who doesn't want an adorable fluffy puppy forChristmas, right?
According to the UK's leading dog welfare charity, what seems like an innocent gift may have unknown dark consequences.
The Dogs Trust has urged animal lovers to be wary when picking potential pets over the festive period in its attempt to clamp down on the Christmas puppy trade.
In just one week before Christmas, nearly 100 puppies were seized at the UK border as "devious" smuggles attempted to illegal import the dogs as part of the popular trade, the charity said.
Heartbreaking images of rescued pups from smuggling investigation
'Tip of the iceberg'
This is just the "tip of the iceberg" says the charity, which claims there is also a "shocking" new trend of smugglers importing pregnant dogs who close to giving birth to "meet the Christmas rush".
The Dogs Trust has conducted its third undercover investigation into the horrors of the UK's Christmas puppy trade.
It exposed the demand for "desirable and in-trend breeds continues to help fuel this sickening trade," said the charity's spokesman.
Heartbreaking images and videos taken by officers during the investigation show that Chow Chows from China, French Bulldogs, Pugs and Dachshunds seem to be at the top of the Christmas list.
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During the undercover operation, three pregnant French Bulldogs were seized, three bulldogs suffering with urine burns after travelling in poor conditions and seven dogs with open infected wounds after having their ears and tails illegally docked.
It was discovered poor pups who were transported from Lithuania were vomiting due to terrible conditions and vets from Eastern European countries selling sedatives and falsifying rabies vacccinations.
Officers also found a litter of Chow Chows who were 11 weeks under the minimum selling age and three French Bulldogs so young they could fit in a small dog bowl were also rescued.
The sickening revelations has lead Dogs Trust to lobby for more to be done to tackle the growing Christmas trade.
A charity spokesman said: "The maximum sentence under the Non-Commercial Movement of Pet Animals (Amendment) Order, 2011 is currently just three months and with importers making tens of thousands of pounds a year, the penalties are not a strong enough deterrent.
"Dogs Trust was disappointed that DEFRA's review of this legislation recently gave no clear indication in tackling the issues that have arisen from the changes made to pet travel legislation in 2012, including the illegal importation of puppies
"Whilst Brexit provides a crucial opportunity to review existing legislation, there are long overdue changes that can be made as part of this review."
The charity also hopes to raise more awareness of the dark trade and this summer it conducted a survey to find out if members of the public really know what's going on.
RSPCA advice on how best to protect your pets in the snow and cold this winter
Worryingly, only 48% of respondents said they "would be concerned if their most recently bough puppy was important illegally" and an additional 33% said they "would buy a dog from an online classified site or social media."
Paula Boyden, veterinary director for Dogs Trust, said: "Whilst many people's purchases may be well intended, unbeknown to them the Internet has become a thriving marketplace for advertising illegally imported puppies.
"Buying an illegally imported puppy could potentially cost well-meaning but unsuspecting families thousands of pounds in quarantine and vet bills and emotional heartache for the family if the puppy falls ill or worse, dies.
"We continue to be astounded at the lengths these deceptive breeders and dealers will go to in order to illegally import puppies to make huge profits with complete disregard for their wellbeing. The cases we are seeing on a weekly basis are horrific and need to stop."
He continued: "We're seeing a huge spike in online advertising and 'trend buying' of fashionable breeds with Pugs, Dachshunds, English and French Bulldogs making up 82% of those admitted to Dogs Trust through our Puppy Pilot.
"We urge anyone who is considering getting a puppy this Christmas or beyond, to make sure a dog is for life not just for Christmas.
"Please do think about the breed and your lifestyle as well as following buyer advice to help limit the chances your puppy is a smuggled one."
The charity has issued some clear advice for those who are hoping to surprise a loved one with a pet dog.
Surrey Police officer issues advice on how to protect your pet and what to do if it is stolen
Credit: Dogs Trust
These pug puppies were transported in a wicker basket with cling film over the top
Credit: Dogs Trust
These pups were "sentenced to months behind bars in a quarantine facility"
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|Publication:||Get West London (Watford, England)|
|Date:||Dec 23, 2017|
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