More than 60 dogs have been seized from a suspected puppy farm following a raid in the north-east.
Inspectors from the Scottish SPCA in a joint effort with Moray Council and Police Scotland raided a property in Moray after concerns were raised about the animals.
The charity is now caring for 78 dogs, as two of the dogs were pregnant at the time of the raid.
Kirsteen Campbell, chief executive of the Scottish SPCA, said: “Sadly, many of the dogs we’ve taken are showing signs of disease and infection consistent with intensive breeding.
“Our animal care and veterinary experts have been selflessly working around the clock to provide care for these poor animals since the raid. Whilst it is an immense challenge, the main thing is these dogs are all receiving an amazing amount of love and care.
“It costs an average of £15 per day to care for a single dog, but money is no object now these dogs are in a safe place.
“Many of these dogs need ongoing veterinary care and we are going through a lot of food and supplies for the puppies. Any support members of the public can provide is most welcome.”
Keep up to date with the latest news with The Evening Express newsletter
“We cannot comment further on the specific details of this case as it is a live investigation.”
Moray Council’s trading standards officers acted when they spotted several similar adverts of puppies for sale on Gumtree.
The authority’s trading standards manager said the multi-agency approach taken by Moray Council, the Scottish SPCA and Police Scotland was vital.
A statement from the council said: “Our officers’ remit is to deal with consumer protection, however a situation like this throws up many issues which requires the expertise of different agencies.
“I’m pleased that through collaborative working, we’ve been able to safeguard the welfare of the puppies and stop future customers from being exploited. The puppies are now in the experienced and able hands of the Scottish SPCA.”
Police Constable Sarah Appleby said: “Police Scotland supported the Scottish SPCA and partner agencies in relation to a search warrant at an address in the Moray area on Thursday, 19 September due to concerns about the welfare of animals.
“A number of dogs and puppies have been seized and are now in the care of the Scottish SPCA.
“Officers from Police Scotland will continue to work with the Scottish SPCA and partner agencies to progress inquiries.”