Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Dogs Trust have sadly seen that it has been ‘business as usual’ for puppy smugglers importing puppies into the country for sale.

These puppies can travel on journeys of up to 33 hours from Central and Eastern Europe with no food, insufficient water and no toilet breaks. Worryingly, they have also been seeing emerging trends with an increase in heavily pregnant dogs being imported.

  • A total of 1,186 puppies have been admitted to Dogs Trust through the our ‘Puppy Pilot’ scheme between December 2015 and 11th June 2020, after being illegally imported.
  • The approximate total market value of the seized puppies, if they had been sold by dealers, would have been almost £2 million. Often, no tax is paid on such profit.
  • 34 pregnant bitches have been seized and admitted to Dogs Trust care since early 2019. 11 of these came into our care between the start of the coronavirus lockdown and mid-June 2020.
  • The approximate total market value of the 148 puppies born to pregnant bitches admitted to Dogs Trust since early 2019 would have been over £285,000.

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