Spanish cops have rescued 270 dogs from two illegal breeding centres where the suspects allegedly cut the animals’ vocal cords to limit their ability to bark.
The two illegal centres, which mainly bred Chihuahuas and Pomeranians, were busted in Meco y Arganda del Rey near the central Spanish capital Madrid.
According to reports, five people have been arrested, including two vets, accused of being members of a dog trafficking gang operating in Europe.
The suspected boss has been identified as 56-year-old Adolfo G. while his unnamed wife has also been detained, according to local media.
As seen in the footage, the animals were forced to live in cramped cages which were reportedly kept in a house basement in filthy conditions.
The police said that many of the dogs had been devocalised, a form of surgery that involves cutting the animal’s vocal cords to decrease the volume, pitch and intensity of the bark.
Reports said that two dead puppies were found wrapped in newspaper in the basement.
The dogs have been confiscated and are currently being cared for by local animal protection groups before the court decides what will happen to them, according to local media.
Meanwhile, the suspects have reportedly been released on bail as the investigation continues.
Local media said that Adolfo G. has registered over 1,400 dogs with the Royal Canine Society of Spain since 1990.
The operation is believed to have made over 2 million EUR (1.7 million GBP) selling dogs for between 1,300 and 3,000 EUR (1,100 and 2,535 GBP) a time, according to reports.
The investigation is ongoing as it is believed the group could be operating other illegal breeding centres in Spain.
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