Our work to end puppy smuggling
For more than a decade, we've been campaigning to end the vile puppy smuggling trade for good.
Since 2012, the Pet Travel Scheme, created to make it easy for owners to take their family pets on holiday with them, has been abused by unscrupulous traders.
They’ve taken advantage of the scheme’s simple set-up to illegally import thousands of puppies for sale, making huge profit at the cost of welfare.
This has resulted in puppies – which are often too young, unvaccinated and in poor welfare – being transported to the UK in terrible conditions, to be sold on to unsuspecting buyers.
We first exposed this cruel puppy smuggling trade in 2014, we have been pushing for changes to the law to help stop it ever since.
Our Puppy Pilot scheme
Our Puppy Pilot scheme was set up in 2015 to aid the interception of illegally imported puppies by APHA (Animal and Plant Health Agency) at the ports and provide care and rehabilitation for them until they find loving new homes. Since then, we have cared for more than 2000 puppies.
Tragically, we have seen puppies as young as four weeks old being smuggled into the country and dogs with open wounds from ear cropping as well as heavily pregnant dogs close to giving birth.
Don’t fall victim to this vile trade
Tragic tales and the decade of delay
In 2023 we sent a book called 'Tragic Tales and the Decade of Delay’ to MPs. The book features four of our real-life heroes, showing the impact of the current situation.
Poppy, Sean, Bailey and Snowy were all victims of the cruel puppy smuggling trade but fortunately were seized at the border, where we were able to step in and change their tale.
We’ve been investigating and exposing the scale of the illegally important puppy trade for almost a decade. Explore the findings of our reports.