Despite the date - 1 April - what went down at the Dublin port on Saturday night was no joke: several puppies were seized by Garda and Port Security as they were about to be shipped off to the UK.
It's a sad but well-known fact that, every day, hundreds of underage puppies bred in puppy farms are imported illegally in the UK to be sold on to unsuspecting members of the public. These puppies, poorly bred and often sickly after having gone through a long journey crammed in filthy cages, are smuggled through the border in a variety of ways.
Many of them come here through Ireland - giving a lot of work to the Dublin SPCA. Last Saturday's seizure was the fourth of this kind this year, bringing the total of puppies seized in the past 18 months over 500.
"We would like to express our sincere thanks to all involved including Garda at Store Street Garda Station, Dublin Port Customs and Garda immigration unit at Dublin Port," a DSPCA statement reads. "The DSPCA and the authorities at Dublin port continue to be vigilant around the illegal export of puppies and dogs."
According to DSPCA, most of the puppies were Labrador/Collie crosses and only 10 weeks old, none of them with valid Pet Passport. In order to legally enter the UK a puppy must be at least 15 weeks old, as 21 days must have passed since their rabies shots, which can be given no earlier than at 12 weeks of age. With the sheer amount of unvaccinated puppies coming into the UK, many fear it is only a matter of time before rabies makes a comeback in the country.
Thankfully, the puppies seized on Saturday are now being cared for, and will be available for adoption soon.
Images by DSPCA.