Spain: Police rescue hundreds of dogs from illegal puppy farms | News | DW | 23.01.2020
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Spain: Police rescue hundreds of dogs from illegal puppy farms

The family-run operation was conducted on the outskirts of Madrid, where the dogs were found in dire conditions. Authorities said they found the corpses of two dogs.

Spanish police arrested five people on Thursday in connection with caging 270 puppies in distressing conditions and selling them illegally across the peninsular.

The arrests followed a raid on two family-run puppy farms on the outskirts of Madrid, Spanish newspaper El Pais reported. Two of those taken into custody were veterinarians who allegedly helped make the illegal operation seem more legitimate, such as by fitting the dogs with microchips. 

The group of dogs rescued were mainly comprised of Chihuahuas and Pomeranians.

Read more: Web Summit 2019: Looking for the next tech top dogs

Officers also discovered two frozen dog corpses wrapped in newspaper. The breeders had cut some of the dogs' vocal cords, possibly to stop them from barking in order to help keep the operation under wraps.

The group had become one of Europe's largest wholesalers of Chihuahuas and Pomeranians, and sold dogs throughout Spain, using social media to promote the operation. Police believe the enterprise made in excess of €2 million ($2.22 million) in profits over the course of more than 10 years.

The dogs, many of which were found caged in cramped suburban basements, are now being taken care of by numerous animal charities.

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