31 dogs, including several puppies, rescued by police in Tyrone
Two men were arrested.
31 dogs, including several puppies, have been rescued by the PSNI following a proactive operation in the Coalisland area of Tyrone.
The rescue operation took place on Thursday, 5 December and two men were arrested on suspicion of fraud - they have since been released on bail.
Five properties were searched in relation to suspected fraud offences involving the sale of puppies.
Inspector Joanne Gibson has said: “Local officers, assisted by partner agencies conducted searches at five properties in the area. The searches were in relation to suspected fraud offences related to the sale of puppies in Mid Ulster. All of the animals have been seized by PSNI as part of our investigation.
“Two men aged 43 and 42 years old were arrested on suspicion of fraud by false representation. Both men have subsequently been bailed pending further enquiries. This joint operation involving our partner agencies has resulted in disrupting this activity and ensuring that further people do not fall victim to buying puppies in these circumstances. I would like to thank both the public and our partner agencies for their assistance during the operation."
Inspector Gibson stressed the dangers of buying puppies from illegal breeders and stated that this activity has a detrimental impact on the health of these dogs.
“Buying puppies from illegal breeders can have devastating results. Often these puppies die a short time after purchase or end up with infectious diseases such as parvovirus which is expensive to treat and often fatal. They can also suffer behavioural issues relating to fear and anxiety due to poor or no socialisation.
"It can be tempting to buy a puppy in these circumstances and often purchasers recognise things are not quite right. It is normal to want to ‘rescue’ a puppy in these circumstances but people must remember they are fuelling and supporting what is a particularly lucrative criminal industry," she added.
The PSNI are continuing to appeal to anyone who may have purchased a puppy from the Mid Ulster area over the last six months, to contact police on 101 quoting reference number 915 05/12/19.
If any of these animals have passed away, owners are still being asked to contact the police to assist with their ongoing investigation.
Anyone that might any information regarding an illegal breeding establishment that's in operation is being urged to contact their local Council Dog Warden.
Those in the Mid Ulster District Council are being asked to call 03000 132 132. Alternatively, if anyone wishes to report a welfare concern, please contact 028 8225 6226 to speak to an Animal Welfare Officer.