Smuggled pups reunited for the first time in two years
A couple of smuggled teddy bear puppies who went viral two years ago after they were photographed in flower pots have been reunited.
Cruel puppy farmers had bred the Chow Chows in Eastern Europe before illegally transporting them into the UK where they were intercepted by border patrol staff in Kent.
Dogs Trust Canterbury, which provides support for illegally smuggled puppies through their time in quarantine, was given the job of finding the cuddly animals a new home.
Staff at the rescue center photographed Dandy and Lion in flower pots to coincide with the first ever dog-friendly garden which Dogs Trust launched at Hampton Court Flower Show.
The puppies went viral and they were separated after the images garnered lots of interest. They were eventually adopted by Catherine Tate and Wendy Zhanwei.
Two years on, and now named Cherry and Teddy, the dogs were reunited for a photo shoot – although this time they were too large to fit in the flower pots.
Puppy smuggling from Eastern Europe is a growing problem which campaigners and authorities are trying to clamp down on.
So-called ‘designer’ breeds like French bulldogs and Chow Chows are separated from their mothers when they are weeks old because they look smaller and cuter. They have then transported hundreds of miles across mainland Europe before being smuggled into the UK where they are sold for a handsome profit.
Many of the young pups suffer health problems due to bad breeding and being taken away from their mum at such a young age. Harriet Blaskett, Dogs Trust Canterbury’s rehoming center manager, said:
‘These two pups are thriving two years on and it’s lovely that they have been reunited. ‘They have bloomed into wonderful characters with their new families and whilst they might not fit as snugly as they did into the very same flower pots they did – I’m assured they are still the same playful, cheeky puppies that they were then.’