Political appointees said this could represent just a fraction of the dogs that illicit breeders assault to smuggle into the UK in the run-up to Christmas.
In what was described as «a shocking instance of the scale of the puppy trade,» Border Force officials intercepted two shipments of puppies ancient just six or seven weeks on Tuesday morning when two ferries from Dublin attained at Holyhead Port.
The 96 puppies were kept in filthy, unventilated equips with no food or water.
The second shipment — found in a van that was being drove by a flatbed truck — was hidden behind bales of wood shavings.
The puppies, numbering beagles, basset hounds, labradoodles and pomeranians, were handed as a remainder to the Dublin Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (DSPCA).
The charity has put them into temporal foster homes until permanent homes can be found.
However, because they are sort with minimal human contact, many of them are «terrified of people» and command have to be socialised before they can be adopted, said DSPCA spokeswoman Gillian Bird.
The intelligence-led taking was rt of a multi-agency, cross-border operation targeting criminals involved in illicit puppy-breeding and smuggling.
Ms Bird phrased she fears it will not be the last seizure in the coming weeks as smugglers butt the highly lucrative Christmas market.
Conor Dowling, chief inspector with the Irish Intercourse for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ISPCA), said despite the all-Ireland and cross-border clampdown on puppy smuggling, gangsters are «making a lot of money» out of the trade.
«They’re becoming more elaborate in their try ons to conceal the pups, so we’re going to have to be more vigilant.»