Police in Spain raided two puppy mills and rescued 270 small dogs, many of which were sick and stuffed inside cramped cages.
Five people suspected of running the illegal animal breeding and sales operation were arrested outskirts of Madrid on Thursday.
The puppy crime ring is identified as one of the largest distributors of Chihuahuas and Pomeranians in Europe. They marketed the dogs using social media, and cops say they made more than $2.2 million in US dollars in the course of roughly ten years in operation.
Excerpt from Reuters:
Among the group, mostly Chihuahuas and Pomeranians, police found two dead animals whose frozen bodies had been wrapped in newspaper. Police said the breeders had cut some of the dogs' vocal chords, possibly to prevent them from barking and alerting neighbours.
Two of the five people arrested were veterinarians who helped give the operation a veil of legitimacy by providing stamped certificates and fitting the dogs with identification microchips.
Read more at REUTERS:
Spanish police free hundreds of dogs from illegal puppy farms