A COUPLE was arrested in Tarragona after one of their clients in Villena (Alicante) denounced them for selling puppies in poor health over the internet, Guardia Civil said. They were charged with crimes of fraud, unauthorized practice of a profession, forgery and acting against the protection of domestic animals.
The detainees – both Spaniards in their 40s – received around €25,000 for the animals and shipping costs, according to Guardia Civil estimates.
This amount should be added to the more than €5,000 that each of the 66 victims who have reported them from all over Spain have had to pay in vets bills due to the puppies ill health.
The German Shepard puppies were advertised through a website and claimed that they came from excellent bloodlines for both beauty and work, with pedigree, vaccinated, wormed and came with a health guarantee.
After the animal had been paid for it arrived malnourished with symptoms of dehydration, bloody stools, stupor, and generalized weakness and unable to stand. It died the following afternoon. The health book was not official and included vaccines that had allegedly been administered but the annotations were signed by the breeder and not a vet.
Following their denuncia, Guardia Civil opened investigations and gathered a list of clients. They discovered that more than 360 puppies had been sold in various Spanish cities, all originating from Badajoz and Caceres.
The majority of these puppies arrived suffering from diarrhea and a virus that affects the digestive system. One even arrived with just one testicle.
Officers found six dog cages filled with newspaper, two female German Shepard puppies without microchips and a French bulldog puppy with microchip in cages with veterinary cards prepared for sale. There were also 15 other veterinary cards with the data of other dogs that were not found at the property.
By Nicole Hallett