Finnish Customs reported that it ordered eight mixed-breed puppies to be euthanised, after the young dogs were brought to Finland from Estonia without any documentation about their health or vaccination status.
According to police, a 50-year-old Estonian man transported the puppies in a cardboard box stowed in the rear of a car, which was stopped at a ferry terminal in Helsinki's Katajanokka district on arrival from Estonia on Sunday.
Police suspect the man intended to sell the puppies in Finland and said he had been caught smuggling undocumented dogs into the country before.
The man is suspected of smuggling, according to the Helsinki police department.
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"He could not produce documents about where the dogs came from, about their health status or if they had been vaccinated or not. The dogs did not have pet passports or ID chips," police superintendent Anne Hietala said in a press release.
"The dogs had to be put down because they could have posed a significant health risk for people as well as other animals," she said.
Customs' animal crimes investigative team works to prevent animal smuggling in various ways, including cooperating with other authorities and agencies.
A heightened inspection of animals imported at Helsinki's seaports carried out by authorities last month found that the illegal pet trade and puppy-farmed dogs remain a problem in Finland.
"It is irresponsible to buy pets from smugglers or a puppy factory and also causes animals to suffer. As long as there is demand for these puppies, there will be a supply. Buyers need to meet their responsibilities and ensure their new pets come from reliable breeders and that they are healthy," Hietala said.