Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Sick Puppies

Everybody loves a good holiday puppy story. Unless it's sad.

SAN DIEGO -- Fifteen puppies were discovered by customs officers after a smuggler tried to bring them into the U.S. at the Tecate Port of Entry.

The 2-month-old puppies, all described as mixed breed miniature poodles, were immediately taken to an emergency veterinary hospital by Animal Control officers with the County Department of Animal Services.

The majority of the puppies have been diagnosed with parvo and will be receiving intensive care provided by County Animal Services or an adoption partner.

The alleged smuggler, Raul Jimenez Gonzalez, came though customs declaring just a bottle of tequila, but agents noticed that the back seat of his car seemed to be squirming in a way uncommon to automobile seats, but roughly in synch with what 15 ill puppies would be doing.

Jimenez turns out to be a repeat offender, part of an underground network of Mexican Christmas-puppy smugglers of which we were hitherto unaware.

Jimenez admitted to the officers that he was taking the puppies to Los Angeles to sell as Christmas presents. Animal Services had previously rescued 27 puppies in 2006 and 11 in 2007 after smuggling attempts involving Jimenez.

"With the holidays approaching, there is a demand for puppies and this demand results in puppies being smuggled across the border into the U.S.," said Dawn Danielson, Director of Animal Services. "Unfortunately, most of these puppies are sick, so the unsuspecting buyer ends up spending a great deal of money trying to save the puppy's life, usually without success."

Gold help us all. Everyone.

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