-Police in Ireland seized around 50 of the dogs in the back of two cars in Dublin
-Many have had their tails docked and claws removed
-The dogs include around 25 Jack Russells, cocker and springer spaniels, and terrier, beagle and Labrador breeds
-Several are in special care because they were too young when taken away from their mother
By Leon Watson
These adorable puppies had more than a stroke of luck after being rescued from a nightmare journey at the hands of illegal dog smugglers.
Police in Ireland seized around 50 of the dogs found in boxes stuffed into the back of two cars in Dublin on Tuesday.
It's believed they were bred illegally on an Irish puppy farm and were destined for the UK. Officers arrested two men in their 20s and 30s at the scene under suspicion of committing animal cruelty.
Brian Gillen, chief executive of the Dublin Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, urged the public to be vigilant when buying a pup.
'Do not buy from the boot of a car or a van, and always arrange to meet the puppy with its parents at the breeders home.
'The conditions the mother is living in is a good indication of the health and welfare of the animals,' said Mr Gillen.
The men were arrested on Tuesday when police searched the vehicles which were stopped in the Coolock area of Dublin.
Officers from the DSPCA took the pups into quarantine and safety, after they were discovered in boxes in the back of both vehicles.
The dogs include around 25 Jack Russells, cocker and springer spaniels, and terrier, beagle and Labrador breeds. They were all given a veterinary check-up and placed in secure accommodation.
The animals have a number of conditions such as mange, ear mites, fleas, eye infections and parasitic infections, the DSPCA said.
Several of the puppies are now in special care because they were too young when taken away from their mothers. Many of them also had their tails docked and claws removed.
The DSPCA said the discovery is a further reminder of the importance for Ireland to push through legislation making it easier to prevent animal cruelty and to prosecute offenders.
Making the microchipping of all dogs compulsory is one of the organisation's biggest goals, a spokesman said.
None of the puppies will be available for new homes until DSPCA inspectors have concluded the animal cruelty investigation.
The two men arrested at the scene are said to be in their 20s and 30s. They were taken to Coolock Garda Station in Dublin and have since been released.