Animal lovers in West Lothian are being urged to help end the illegal trafficking of puppies into Scotland.
It comes as trading standards officials warn of the risks involved when buying pups that are advertised on free online selling sites.
This follows eight dogs from Livingston being put into quarantine at their owner’s expense because they did not comply with rabies vaccination requirements.
Some of the dogs, including four different breeds and a mix of pups and adults, had been advertised for sale on free online websites in the run up to Christmas.
The UK has seen a year on year increase in dogs being illegally imported, putting the health of other animals and the general public at risk.
The Scottish SPCA has been spearheading a multi-agency fight against the “ruthless” puppy trading industry and backed MSP Emma Harper’s recent debate at the Scottish Parliament on the topic.
Chief Inspector John Chisholm said, “We are currently working alongside partner organisations in Operation Delphin to tackle the multi-million pound puppy farming industry.
“When trafficked pups reach their new owner via the dealers they often develop diseases such as parvo virus and giardia. Often the young dogs die from these diseases which is extremely distressing for the owners.”
Anyone with concerns or information about puppy trafficking should call the Scottish SPCA helpline on 03000 999 999. Information can be left anonymously.