More than 200 dogs and newly born puppies with maggots and rotting teeth have been rescued from a puppy farm in Carmarthenshire.
A number of animal welfare organisations were called to save the animals from the unlicensed breeders over the weekend, including breeding dogs, studs and puppies.
Some needed immediate medical attention. Hazel, a Bichon Frise, was so badly matted that she had maggots in her coat whilst feeding her five day old puppies.
Other dogs were found with eye and ear infections, heavy worm burdens and rotten teeth.
Hope Rescue, a charity based in Pontyclun, rescued 47 dogs alone. They included five mothers with 18 puppies between them, five pregnant dogs and 20 other adults.
The animal welfare charity aims to save the lives of stray, abandoned and unwanted dogs and give them a second chance.
The dogs rescued were a range of popular breeds including Bichon Frises, Shihtzus, Cockerpoos, Cavaliers, Labradors and Cocker Spaniels.
It comes after recent law changes around pet buying in Wales, which states it is now illegal to sell puppies and kittens unless the sellers have bred the animals themselves on their own premises. The mother must also be present.
The new law has been introduced to help improve animal welfare in Wales.
Vanessa Waddon, Hope Rescue founder, said, "The rescue centre was already near capacity before this intake due to the predicted rise in abandoned dogs following the lifting of lockdown restrictions.
"However, we are fortunate to have an incredible network of foster homes who didn’t hesitate to open their hearts and homes to help the physical and emotional rehabilitation of these traumatised puppy farm dogs, many of whom were trying to raise their puppies in such appalling conditions."
One Cocker Spaniel, named Smarties, required immediate treatment for severely infected bite wounds and a serious ear infection. She was found cowering in the corner of an outbuilding.
Around 20% of pet owners in Wales say they have considered re-homing their dog as lockdown easing continues.
Vanessa added, "The sad reality is that this puppy farmer was no doubt gearing up for the Christmas puppy market. Sadly, puppy farming is still very much alive in Wales and we were pleased to support the excellent work being undertaken by the Trading Standards Wales Regional Investigation Team.
"We continue to urge everyone looking to add a four legged family member to do their research. Please check out your local rescue centre first, and if you are going to purchase a dog then ensure it is from a reputable breeder and follow the RSPCA advice."