Animal Trafficker Caught With Faked Pet Passports For Weeks-Old Dogs

A man caught with weeks-old puppies and faked pet passports has been seized by customs police in Austria while he was on a 3,000-kilometre trafficking drive to Algeria.

Police searched the suspect’s vehicle after it crossed the border with Italy at Arnoldstein and were horrified by the stench of urine and poo coming from the cages.

They found 30 pedigree pups, some believed to be as young as three weeks old, in filthy, cramped conditions packed in 12 tiny animal carriers, reports local media.

Image shows some of the rescued puppies, undated photo. A total 30 puppies were saved from the trunk of a smuggler near Arnoldstein, Austria, in April 2024. (BMF, Zoll/Newsflash)

Police say they recovered Cavalier King Charles spaniels, dachshunds, Pomeranians, Maltese, French bulldogs, and poodles, now recovering in an animal shelter.

A 46-year-old Slovakian national trafficking the pups told officers he had bought them for
EUR 5,700 (GBP 4,902) and was driving to Algeria, local media reported on 9th May.

Customs police seized the distressed-looking pups, and a local vet told them they were far too young to travel based on the development of their teeth.

All the young dogs were in very poor health, reports local media.

Police also seized forged pet passports, which showed that the animals were old enough to travel.

Image shows some of the rescued puppies, undated photo. A total 30 puppies were saved from the trunk of a smuggler near Arnoldstein, Austria, in April 2024. (BMF, Zoll/Newsflash)

Austria’s Minister of Finance Magnus Brunner, 52, condemned the “cruel” trafficking.

In a statement obtained by Newsflash, he said: “Once again, it has been demonstrated in a shocking way how important the work of local customs officials is not only to protect humans but also animals.

“I would like to thank the employees of the Austrian customs office who do such important work in the fight against animal smuggling and animal cruelty in order to prevent animal suffering.”

He added: “During the operation, the customs officers discovered violations of the Animal Diseases Act, the EU Internal Regulation, the Animal Welfare Act, and document falsification.

“The man is now facing a high fine for several administrative violations.”

Image shows some of the rescued puppies, undated photo. A total 30 puppies were saved from the trunk of a smuggler near Arnoldstein, Austria, in April 2024. (BMF, Zoll/Newsflash)

To find out more about the author, editor or agency that supplied this story – please click below.
Story By: Georgina JadikovskaSub-Editor: Joseph Golder, Agency:  Newsflash

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