200 animals seized in operation against illegal sales network in Barcelona

200 animals seized in operation against illegal sales network in Barcelona

The Barcelona City Council is managing the reception of 200 animals seized in an operation against a network of illegal pet sales.

So far, the animals have been kept by the Companion Animal Shelter of Barcelona (CAACB). The CAACB has provided initial care and veterinary follow-up to the specimens that were in precarious and unhealthy conditions.

Foster management has progressed significantly, with 160 of the 179 dogs and 35 cats that arrived at the CAACB already being fostered. During this period, five pups were born to females that arrived in gestation. Currently, about 30 animals are still waiting to be taken in.

Some of these animals have been adopted by people who were in the process of buying pets from the illegal network.

However, most of the animals have been taken care of thanks to the efforts of CAACB volunteers and professionals, as well as people who had already offered to take care of the rescued adult breeders and older animals.

Approximately 200 animals confiscated

These animals arrived at the shelter after being subjected to extremely precarious and cruel living conditions, including inappropriate cages, lack of socialization and poor veterinary care.

The cubs in particular had severe muscle atrophy due to the inhumane conditions in which they lived.

Some of these animals also showed behavioral problems and fears resulting from their isolation, as well as health problems such as leishmaniasis and untreated kidney disease.

Other animals had suffered serious physical damage, including a dog that required amputation of a limb due to a badly healed fracture.

This joint operation between the Mossos d’Esquadra, the Guardia Urbana of Barcelona, the National Police and the Guardia Civil, led by the 23rd Court of Instruction of Barcelona and the Provincial Prosecutor’s Office specialized in the environment, made it possible to dismantle an organization that illegally sold pets.

This network operated in Catalonia and Madrid, and the operation resulted in 12 searches and the arrest of 13 people, in addition to the rescue of more than 400 abused animals.

An animal trafficking network

Most of these animals are puppies and kittens of high market value breeds. The detainees are charged with several continuous crimes, including animal abuse, fraud, document forgery, illegal practice of the profession and money laundering.

The investigations that led to this operation began in 2020 when the City Council inspected a pet store in L’Eixample, Barcelona. Thirty-three sick dogs and several irregularities related to animal health and unfulfilled documentary obligations were found.

This, in turn, led to the identification of an illegal animal sales network operating throughout Europe.