A TOTAL of 404 puppies of various breeds were confiscated by the Guardia Civil in Zaragoza, Malaga, Sevilla, Toledo and Burgos in December.
Police inspections were intensified in the run-up to Christmas on animals as the period is known to be a busy one for illegal pet sales and transport.
Searches were carried out at breeders, pet-shops and transport terminals with animals confiscated for missing micro-chips, being under the legal age for transport, poor hygienic conditions and lack of necessary permits and passports.
The Guardia Civil Nature Protection Branch Seprona advises citizens thinking of buying pets to remember that they require care for life and should be acquired from authorised suppliers.
Buyers should always ask for information on where the animal has come from and check that the micro-chip and date of birth match those on the animal passport and vaccinations are up-to-date.