1. ITV Report

Four arrested in puppy trading investigation

Recovered puppies. Credit: Durham Constabulary

Four people have been arrested and six puppies have been recovered as part of an investigation into fraudulent puppy trading.

Durham Constabulary worked with Durham County Council’s Consumer Protection and Health Protection as they executed warrants at two properties in the Consett area in the early hours of this morning.

Two men and two women were arrested following the action.

The raids followed complaints from the public about the sale of puppies which were allegedly inaccurately described with some people also reporting allegations that they purchased puppies suffering from health issues.

Today’s action is part of a bigger, ongoing investigation. For legal reasons no more details have been released.

This morning’s operation was the culmination of very detailed planning and team work between ourselves and our colleagues at Durham Constabulary and we are grateful for their support.

While our enquiries continue we have removed six puppies from two premises in relation to the fraud investigation and are also looking into potential welfare concerns. The puppies are now undergoing health checks and will be looked after at an undisclosed location.

Our officers are currently pursuing a number of lines of enquiry and other people may yet emerge as suspects in this investigation.

– Owen Cleugh, Durham County Council

Durham Constabulary is happy to work with partner agencies on this morning’s joint operation, which has taken considerable planning and co-ordination.

The illegal puppy trade makes a lot of money for some people, but it also leads to animal suffering and it cheats families.

– Inspector Keith Wardle, Durham Constabulary