This morning NPR aired a story about a humane society auction of toy breed puppies seized at the LA airport. The puppies, imported from South Korea, were accompanied by forged documents stating the five week old puppies were 5 months old and had had the required innoculations for importation. Of the 30 dogs in the shipment all were in poor condition and only 10 survived. These puppies were turned over to LA Animal services which nursed them to health and kept them for 5 months. When deemed ready for placement, there was so much interest in the pups the shelter was required to hold an auction. Small dogs, especially purebreds, and puppies are rarely available in shelters, so this amount of interest in these animals that have all three characteristics is not surprising. The story quotes the shelter manager starting the auction by warning that the pups were likely from substandard breeding stock and had obviously had a traumatic start in life, so “Buyer Beware.” A representative from the American Kennel Club is quoted as saying when they stepped up their enforcement of substandard kennels that they also saw an increase in imported puppies bound for pet stores. The story makes it clear that importation rules are not being strictly enforced; that documents are readily forged, apparently inspectors are not trained to spot puppies so obviously underage for the required rabies innoculations as the ones in this story.
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