Staring out of his cage in a Spanish pet store, this cute chihuahua puppy would be hard to resist for any animal lover.
But by buying a pet like this and taking it home, vacationers unwittingly risk stimulating the trade in dog smuggling, charities warn.
Such designer pets are offered in resorts with promises that local veterinarians will repair vaccinations, microchips and paperwork so that the puppy can be returned to the UK immediately.
But the Dogs Trust believes that many will not have the right health checks to take them home safely. Experts suggest that paperwork can also be forged.
The store manager of the pet store in Benidorm (left) insists that the trade & # 39; not illegal & # 39; is
And the puppies may have been bred in Eastern Europe before they were smuggled into Spain – there is no way to find out where they came from.
A charity survey has discovered a thriving trade in puppies and discovered that a city in Spain exported around 20,000 dogs a year and earned gangs of £ 28 million.
This week a pet store in Benidorm offered three month old chihuahua, along with the services of a nearby vet who said 100 euros (£ 90) would secure the punctures and pet passport within 15 minutes for immediate travel.
Puppies are not allowed to enter Great Britain until 15 weeks of age and only after being vaccinated for rabies, canine disease and hepatitis and one to five days prior to travel have been treated for tapeworm.
The Daily Mail discovered how easy it could be to buy a puppy in a pet store, pay for papers, and then bring it back to the UK immediately.
Mascotas pet shop near the busy coast in Benidorm said the chihuahua displayed in cages for 460 euros (£ 415) had received one shot and could be taken directly to the vet.
Designer pets such as this chihuahua are offered in resorts that promise local vets to repair vaccinations, microchips and paperwork so that the puppy can be returned to the UK immediately
A call to the vet confirmed the speed of the transaction, with an assistant who said: & # 39; Bring the dog, your passport and 100 euros and it takes 15 minutes. You can immediately take the dog to England. & # 39;
Visitors are regularly attracted by the window of the pet shop, which also sold French bulldogs and bichon frises.
Selling such stores is not illegal in Spain and the manager said: “We are not doing anything wrong. It is not illegal, it is OK. & # 39; Campaigners have forced the UK to introduce laws prohibiting the sale of kittens and puppies from third parties such as pet stores and dealers, forcing buyers to trade directly with breeders. But the incoming laws do not apply in Europe.
Paula Boyden, the veterinary director of the Dogs Trust, said: & This is worrying. These puppies cannot immediately be admitted back to the UK. They must be chipped, vaccinated against rabies and wait for the right time before they travel.
Puppies are not allowed to enter Great Britain until 15 weeks old and only after they have been vaccinated
& # 39; When we see such puppies, there is a strong desire to take care of them, but you take a new living member of your family home and you don't know for sure where they come from or how well their health is. & # 39;
She added: & # 39; We have been told that puppies are the new medication (for the gangs). The return is high and the danger is low.
# The penalties for smuggling cigarettes can be seven years in prison; for smuggling puppies this is only three months.
& # 39; Of the nearly 1000 puppies & # 39; s seized at the border, only two have been prosecuted and no punishment. & # 39; Joanna Randall, from animal welfare organization Four Paws, said: & # 39; Our advice is never to buy a puppy abroad and return it to the UK. But when you see a puppy in a pet store like this, you fall in love and want to make the purchase – that's how they get you.
& # 39; This pet store is enormously symbolic for the entire puppy trade in Europe. They are an external supplier of puppies that have arrived somewhere else in Europe and the reality is that you can never trace where they come from.
& # 39; There is the potential for unreliable paperwork and pets sold in Benidorm may have been bred in Serbia or through a marketplace in Hungary, chipped before arriving in the UK. & # 39;
Last year, more than 300,000 dogs entered the UK.
. (TagsToTranslate) Dailymail (t) news