Seized Dublin Port puppies in legal limbo

Offers by thousands of prospective dog owners to adopt the 116 cute puppies seized at Dublin Port earlier this month have been put on hold as the matter is now in a legal limbo.

Puppies seized at Dublin Port earlier this month

Puppies seized at Dublin Port earlier this month. Image by DSPCA/PA

The four- to eight-week old puppies were found in two transit vans and were facing illegal importation into Britain for sale. The Sunday Independent reports that the animals had had no access to water or food when intercepted and had no official documents at the port on 4 February.

The swoop by Gardai (Police), the Dublin Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (DSPCA) and customs came after a careful six-month joint investigation into the highly lucrative scam. Dogs are being bred in Ireland and then exported illegally to the UK where they are in turn sold to unsuspecting buyers online.

The DSPCA's headquarters in south Dublin is currently housing 84 of the puppies, with the rest being looked after in DSPCA foster homes.

The touching plight of the puppies has struck the nation’s heart and led to 4000 enquiries about adopting them. However,the little canines cannot be legally adopted until their owners have either been identified or come forward to have them returned to them.

Gillian Bird, the DSPCA spokesperson pointed out that they were not their property so they couldn’t release them yet. She explained that they were the property of the owners and would remain so unless the courts ordered that they be surrendered to the DSPCA.

The general expectation is that they won’t go back to the owners as micro-chipping the dogs would cost up to €3000 while the €25 per day minimum upkeep would add up to a considerable sum which would have to be cleared before the puppies were returned. No one has yet been charged over the seizures

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