An animal welfare charity has issued a warning about buying dogs online after two puppies were found dying “alone and afraid” at the side of a road in Dumfries and Galloway.
The Scottish SPCA suspect the spaniels, found by a member of the public in Lockerbie last Thursday, were from a low welfare puppy farm.
One passed away, whilst the other had to be euthanised under veterinary advice. They were believed to be around four-weeks-old.
The discovery of the puppies follow recent seizures of dogs by officers from the society’s special investigations unit at the nearby Cairnryan port.
A Scottish SPCA special investigations inspector, who cannot be named due to undercover operations, said: “Due to the circumstances in which these young spaniels were found, we suspect they may have come from the Cairnryan port as part of the illegal puppy trade.
“In the past we have come across similar cases such as this where any puppies who fall ill on the journey are simply discarded and left to die.
“These young dogs were only four-weeks-old and should have still been with their mother and littermates. Instead they were left to die alone and afraid at the side of the road.
“This is the true cost of the puppy trade.”
The inspector said the supply for badly-bred puppies will only disappear if public demand stops.
They added: “Every year, thousands of pups are dying at just days or weeks old to fuel the trade.
“We will continue to fight the puppy trade every step of the way, but we need each and every person to do their bit to help us stop it.
“There are thousands of adverts on websites like Gumtree for puppies, but there is no guarantee you are buying from a responsible breeder when you shop online.
“The Scottish SPCA is dedicated to tackling the illegal puppy trade.”
If you have any information regarding the illegal puppy trade, or have concerns you may have purchased a dog from a low welfare breeder, call the Scottish SPCA’s confidential animal helpline on 03000 999 999.