Rescuing young pup Bailey from puppy smugglers

Poor Bailey and his brother were trafficked by smugglers at just seven weeks old.

Bailey the Chow Chow puppy and his brothers trafficked illegally by puppy smugglers
20th March 2024

Bailey was just 7 weeks old when he was rescued at the border with his brother— too young to be separated from their mother or legally enter the UK.  

They travelled in cramped and squalid conditions, in one single cage with little to no access to food, for over 1,600-miles - a journey that takes over 26 hours by car. 

Their importers glued microchips into their fur, making it simple to cut them out once in the UK, and sell the pups on to unsuspecting dog lovers.  

Both puppies were taken from their mum too early and were found in very poor condition. Thankfully Bailey and his brother recovered and have both found their forever home. It doesn’t always end this way for smuggled pups. 

Sadly, this story is all too familiar - the average age of puppies we have intercepted via our Puppy Pilot is between 8-11 weeks old.   

Help us end the nightmare start to life for dogs like Bailey. 

For a decade, we've been calling on the government to change the law

The changes we want to protect dogs like Bailey:

  • Increase the age puppies can be imported to 6 months  
  • Ban the non-commercial transport of heavily pregnant dogs  
  • A complete ban on the commercial movement of pregnant dogs into Great Britain  
  • A ban on the importation and sale of dogs with cropped ears and docked tails  
  • Bring in tougher penalties for those caught illegally importing dogs

Thanks to the help of thousands of our supporters writing to their MPs, we've kept puppy smuggling on the government's agenda. We're so grateful to all of you who drew attention to the suffering of dogs like Sean and demanded that the government honour their manifesto commitment to finally end this cruel trade. We're almost there. 

How is the law going to change?

In December 2023, Selaine Saxby, our ally and Member of Parliament for North Devon, introduced a Bill in Parliament to a move the dial on puppy smuggling. This Bill provides a genuine opportunity to close several loopholes that currently allow the trade to operate without facing consequences.

What comes next?

On 15 March, the Animal Welfare Bill's second reading will take place in Parliament. A crucial vote will decide whether the Bill can progress to the next stage of the legislative process. If successful, it will then undergo more detailed discussions within a committee in the next steps toward becoming law.

17,000 of you

emailed your local MP and demanded change

How you’re helping us end puppy smuggling

We’re changing the tale for smuggled pups.

Would you like to campaign on behalf of Dogs Trust?

Sign up to receive regular updates about the progress of our work and ways you can actively support new campaigns. We'll send you emails packed with information about our work, products, services, ways to support us, and pupdates about our pooches.

Related articles

The road to recovery for smuggled pup Sean
Our stories
The road to recovery for smuggled pup Sean
Changing the tale for smuggled Snowy and her puppies
Our stories
Changing the tale for smuggled Snowy and her p...
Underdog Reg finally lands his forever home!
Our stories
Underdog Reg finally lands his...