The road to recovery for smuggled pup Sean

Stopping the suffering for trafficked puppies like Sean the Shar Pei.

Sean the smuggled puppy is rescued by Dogs Trust
14th March 2024

Sean was 8 weeks old when he was brought 1,000s of miles from Romania to be sold in the UK. This is well under the 15 weeks that puppies must be to legally travel across European borders. 

Sean had so much excess skin, it was causing his eyelashes to roll in and rub on his eyes. This incredibly painful condition meant Sean could not even open his eyes. There were old stitches which were likely placed to try and help, but these were not working.  

Whilst in Dogs Trust’s care, Sean underwent surgery to correct the rolling of his eyelids and alleviate the pain he was in. There is a likelihood he will need further surgery before adulthood, potentially costing his new owners thousands in vet bills.  

Many of the dogs we rescue on the Puppy Pilot require urgent veterinary assistance when they come into our care, and in some cases this treatment must be continued for the rest of their lives.   

With your help, we're ending this cruelty so that unsuspecting families are no longer forced to pick up the bill for the actions of unscrupulous breeders. 

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

The changes we want to protect dogs like Sean:

  • 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.

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