LOS ANGELES – Customs inspectors at Los Angeles International Airportintercepted eight Pomeranian puppies that were smuggled into the country fromRussia, authorities said.

Inspectors on Aug. 9 stopped two “27-year-old citizens of Russia (who) arrivedfrom Moscow and applied for admission into the United States,” said Jaime Ruizof U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

“The travelers initially declared they were bringing four dogs for theirvacation in Mexico,” Ruiz said. “Upon review of the four dogs’ medicalhistory, CDC officials determined that the documentation accompanying the fourdogs was fraudulent because the dogs’ ages were falsified on their rabiesvaccination certificates and they were too young to receive rabiesvaccination.”

CBP personnel discovered four other puppies hidden in an abandoned carry-onbag left by the travelers in the inspection area, Ruiz said.

“The travelers admitted that they attempted to smuggle eight puppies into theU.S. without the proper import documentation with the intent of deliveringthem to waiting clients,” Ruiz said. “One of the travelers stated that sheexpected to get paid $600 to smuggle the dogs into the U.S. Both passengerswere found inadmissible into the U.S., and returned to Russia, along with theeight puppies.”

Smuggled puppies “are an issue of concern because of the high risk of humanexposure to deadly animal diseases, including rabies,” said LaFonda Sutton-Burke, Customs and Border Protection Area Port Director for LAX.

Source: Fox 11 Los Angeles

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