Warning: Contains Footage Some May Find Upsetting
Police have rescued more than 200 dogs whose vocal chords were cut by their cruel breeders in an horrific dog trafficking scheme.
Officers discovered the nefarious puppy farms after two raids on the outskirts of Madrid, Spain. Police found 270 dogs (a mixture of Chihuahuas and Pomeranians) in ghastly conditions, with many crammed into small cages.
Many of the pooches’ vocal chords were apparently cut by the breeders, which authorities say was likely an attempt to stifle their noise, in a bid to keep their trafficking operation a secret.
You can see a video of Spanish police carrying out the raid below. (Warning, some viewers may find the footage upsetting):
Taking place in the basements of homes in Meco and Arganda del Rey, the puppy farms were divided into three sections – a breeding area, a sales area and an area of animals ready to breed.
Officers also found two dogs dead, frozen and wrapped in newspaper, with many others locked in cages. The procedures carried out on the animals, a cordectomy-section of the vocal cords, was speculated to have been an attempt to suppress the racket coming from the basement full of puppies. It’s also commonly known as a debarking or bark softening.
A police spokesperson said:
Some dogs had a very attenuated bark. After performing the appropriate tests, it was found that they had undergone a cordectomy-section of the vocal cords. The procedure was carried out possibly so that they did not bark and not alert neighbours to the existence of an illegal hatchery.
Following the raids, five people have been arrested, accused of operating a drug trafficking scheme across Europe. Of the five, two members were vets, who gave the operation an air of legitimacy by fitting the dogs with identification microchips, as well as providing stamped certificates.
The highly lucrative operation is suspected to have made more than £1.7 million, selling dogs for between £1,100 and £2,535 a time. However, the suspects have reportedly been released on bail as the investigation continues.
It’s been reported by local media the puppy farmers had registered more than 1,400 dogs with the Royal Canine Society of Spain since 1990, securing their legitimacy even further beyond their use of vets in the operation.
The rescued dogs are currently in the custody of several animal charities, pending the judicial decision on what will happen to them next.