BUDAPEST, Hungary — Investigations are underway across Eastern Europe to uncover the truth behind designer puppies. The term “designer puppy” was coined to describe an array of toy breed dogs, which are currently proving to be very popular among people looking to purchase dogs. Unfortunately, due to the high demand in Europe, particularly England, people are now beginning to capitalize by exploiting these puppies at a very young age.
Reporters from the Mirror U.K. and individuals from animal welfare charity FOUR PAWS, went to Hungary, which supplies a lot of puppies yearly to England to discover the ins and outs of the booming industry. It is believed that the Eastern European dealers running the puppy trade are cashing in millions of pounds monthly. Designer puppies can be bought into Hungary for £180 and they can be sold in England for as much as £3,000. At one particular puppy market in Pécs, some of the puppies were even being sold for as little as £10.
Once individuals from the Mirror and FOUR PAWS arrived in Hungary, they were quick to uncover that puppies are being crated and sold as young as 5-weeks-old where they then travel to England in stuffy, overheated cages. Although there are laws in place that dictate dogs under the age of 15-weeks-old cannot travel from the EU to England, the people in charge of sending the puppies over are lying about their age and forging their passports. Due to newly relaxed quarantine laws, the puppy’s age is rarely disputed at the border. Dogs must also have the proper vaccinations before being transported, so the dealers have been jabbing them with needles that seldom have any affect on the pups as their immune systems are too young to process the shots.
According to the reports by the Mirror, FOUR PAWS and Hungarian authorities, who are now carrying out their own investigation, the only way to put an end to this is to hit the source directly. They must put an end to the puppy farms in Eastern Europe before the dogs have a chance to be transported out of the country. These designer puppies are likely to suffer from a range of issues from health to behaviourial, due to being pulled from their mothers so young, thus it is important to put an end to this illegal trade. There are currently multiple investigations pending but a course of action has yet to be taken.