Spanish authorities have uncovered an illegal breeding centre with 479 canines, several of which had their vocal cords removed to prevent them from barking.
The shocking discovery was made by Spanish Civil Guard officers in the municipality of Santa Fe in the province of Granada in the Spanish autonomous community of Andalusia, according to a police report on 7th February.
The video footage shows agents entering the property and finding a long row of cages filled with several dogs of different breeds.
The official report said they found 479 dogs of various breeds, “10 of which showed clear symptoms of having had their vocal cords cut”.
Their suspicions were later proved correct with the help of the College of Veterinarians of Granada.
The report said of the procedure: “It is a surgical practice that requires general anaesthesia and exhaustive knowledge of anatomy, surgery, and pharmacology.”
A further 21 canines were found to have been implanted with chips which belonged to other dogs, a practice that can only be carried out by a veterinarian and is done to hide where the animals came from.
A man who was suspected of running the centre and a veterinarian thought to have carried out the surgical operations were arrested and charged with 10 crimes of animal abuse and 21 counts of falsifying documents.
The owner also faces charges for acting as a veterinarian without any certification that allows him to do so.
Agents were led to the location thanks to a previous case where an illegal breeding centre was found in the town of Vegas del Genil in Granada at a former tobacco dry house where a 44-year-old man was detained on 21st November.
Officers of the Nature Protection Service (Seprona) of the Spanish Civil Guard found 98 dogs of various breeds, and 34 had their vocal cords removed.
Some of the dogs were found to have come from the breeding centre in Santa Fe and the suspect who was detained in that first operation had worked at the Santa Fe centre.
The investigation continues.