Six sick puppies have been seized from a low-welfare breeder who was trading from a van in a hotel car park.
The Scottish SPCA’s special investigations unit worked to rescue the nine-week-old beagles at the Glasgow hotel earlier this month.
All of the dogs, which were found in small cages within the cluttered van, have been diagnosed with giardia and coccidia – diseases common in the low-welfare puppy trade.
It was also found that the vaccination certificate the breeder was using to sell the pups was falsified.
Rescuers say the puppies are now at an animal rehoming centre receiving the care and treatment they need.
The SSPCA is urging pet owners to report suspected illegal puppy traders.
A special investigations unit inspector, who cannot be named, said: “At first the pups appeared healthy but after veterinary examination they were found to have giardia and coccidia.
“If left untreated, these diseases can lead to serious illness and in the worst cases, death.
“Low-welfare dealers will try anything to sell pups. We always ask the public to be vigilant and demand to see paperwork but in some cases, like this one, documents can be forged.
“Legitimate documentation will have stamps from the veterinary practice where the pup received their vaccination and full vaccination details.
“A responsible breeder will have no issue with a potential breeder contacting the vet practice to confirm details.
“We say this time and time again, low-welfare breeders will always give an excuse, most of the time it will be a sympathy story, to deliver a dog to you or meet you in a public place. Please, under no circumstances, allow this to happen.
“Puppies and their parents are suffering and dying due to this industry. We now need the public to act responsibly and not contribute to this appalling trade.
“Public demand will fuel this trade and as long as it does, bad dealers will find any means to operate.”
Any concerns over the low-welfare puppy trade should be reported to the Scottish SPCA confidential animal helpline on 03000 999 999.