The 42 puppies were discovered during a police check, jammed together inside a total of five plastic boxes in the back of a Czech-registered car at 3.30am on Sunday, without food or water, according to police.
The 59-year-old driver was reportedly on the way to Belgium to sell the puppies, the youngest of whom was only about four weeks old. But the puppies did not have vaccinations or identifying chips, nor did the man have the proper paperwork for them. Therefore authorities are now investigating him for violations of animal protection laws.
The pups were then brought to the Nuremberg animal shelter, where they are being medically examined and treated.
Police in Bavaria often encounter similar situations. At the end of last November, police in Pocking were able to stop the illegal transport of 20 dogs. Such incidents led the Bavarian police force to launch a campaign against the illegal puppy trade in December.
For the Nuremberg shelter, the raid means a lot of work to care for the baby Labradors, Beagles, Pugs and French Mastiffs.
Animal shelter director Tanja Schnabel said that the little furry friends were all “totally worn out” after their long drive. She added that a portion of the group suffered from diarrhea, parasite infestations, eye problems, and inflamed ears.
“Taken too young from their mothers, the puppies had to endure hours of driving,” the animal shelter wrote in a statement.
Photo: Nuremberg animal shelter (Tierheim Nürenberg)
Their emergency workers began attending to the little canines at 4am in what the shelter called a “major operation”.
By now the shelter reports that the puppies are doing considerably better given the circumstances.
But the shelter needed extra support, calling on the community to donate bedding, pillows and hand towels. The shelter posted a full "wish list" on Amazon for items to donate, which also includes food and bones to chew on.
Broadcaster Bayerischer Rundfunk reported that throughout Sunday, locals came by the shelter to drop off donations.
But no one will be able to adopt any of the young hounds until at the earliest July, according to the shelter, because the puppies must still be fully vaccinated and their medical conditions must be stable. The rabies vaccine, for example, is supposed to be given at 12 weeks.
Until then, those interested must wait for further notice from the shelter, but may enjoy the photos re-shared widely across social media.