More than 400 pets, mainly dogs and cats, have been recovered during an operation against a trafficking network in Spain, resulting in 13 arrests, Spanish police announced on Wednesday.
“Thirteen people were arrested and more than 400 pets were rescued in one of the country’s largest operations against animal abuse,” police said in a statement.
The network has branches in “Madrid, Barcelona, Andorra and Eastern European countries,” the birthplace of most of the animals, the press release added, noting that the operation took place on September 20. According to police, the investigation began in late 2020 after complaints about the sanitary conditions in which animals were sold at a business in central Barcelona.
Police later rescued 33 sick dogs and found “obvious inconsistencies” in the animals’ documents, which raised concerns about the way they were being marketed.
According to the police, the animals came mainly from Eastern Europe and were transported in unsanitary conditions, “by road, in vehicles with limited space and poor ventilation”. This favored the development of diseases, which were hidden at the time of sale with the help of a veterinarian and networked clinics.
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