(ANSA) - Milan, February 10 - Police have dismantled a
trafficking ring that raked in some one million euros a year by
smuggling puppies into Italy from Eastern Europe.
Nine individuals reported to the police. Three of the
traffickers have been arrested, while three others have been
placed under residence restrictions on charges of belonging to a
It marks possibly the first time that such charges been
used in such a case.
Operation Maky, in honor of one of the puppies saved on the
brink of death, was conducted by police in the northern Italian
town of Lodi.
Eighty-eight puppies were seized during the operation.
The puppies were all under three months old and were
stuffed into the trunks and cabs of large, rented vehicles.
Once taken to the town of San Giuliano, near Milan,
microchips were implanted under their skin and they were given
health cards stating that they were from Italy.
The dogs were then sold on the Internet and in pet shops at
prices of as much as 10 times what they had been sold for in
their countries of origin.