A third Dogs Trust investigation in the puppy trade has revealed a sad truth: despite calls for action, this cruel trade is still rife - bringing suffering to thousands of puppies and huge revenues to their smugglers.
According to Dogs Trust, 275,876 dogs travelled to Great Britain on the Pet Travel Scheme in 2016 alone. Many were beloved pets, but there were also plenty of underage puppies with fake documents and vaccination records. Footage by Dogs Trust, filmed undercover, shows a Lithuanian vet selling sedatives to keep the puppies quiet across the border. In one case, the report reads,"puppies were observed vomiting and another eating their own faeces during a journey in a packed mini-van from Lithuania. Confined to pet carriers stacked amongst other packages in the back of the van with no air conditioning, and outside temperatures of 25 degrees, the puppies were given water just twice and not fed at all.”
Betsy was among these unlucky pups, taken from her mother too early and illegally transported from Hungary - a harrowing 1,000 miles journey. Many of these pups go through the border to be sold on to unsuspecting members of the public, who often find themselves with a sick puppy whose life may end prematurely, adding heartbreak to tragedy; Betsy, however, was among the lucky ones intercepted at the border.
Taken to Dogs Trust Evesham after their time in quarantine, Betsy received all the care she needed and soon found a new home with Sarah Scaramuzza and Jonny McKinley, who travelled all the way from Huddersfield to meet her.
Sarah said, "When we heard of Betsy's story, we couldn't believe what she had already been through at such a young age but we're so pleased that we're able to give her a loving home. She is such a little bundle of fun and we love seeing her little personality come through. She has settled in really well, and has already been very spoilt with lots of toys, treats and fuss!"
Betsy is the 500th dog to be rehomed by Dogs Trust Evesham in 2017. Chris Slight, Rehoming Centre Manager, said, “The team are delighted to have found new homes for so many dogs already but little Betsy is the perfect representation of how the staff go above and beyond to care for dogs who haven’t had the best start in life.
“We find it incredibly hard to understand how anyone can take part in illegal puppy smuggling for monetary gain. These puppies don’t have appropriate vaccinations, are transported in horrendous conditions, have false documents and have been taken away from their mums far too soon.
“A dog is for life and thankfully, Betsy and her littermates are off to wonderful families who will give them a happy forever home.”
Following their investigation, Dogs Trust is stepping up in its fight against the illegal puppy trade. To find out how you can help, click here.
Image and video by Dogs Trust.