A TRIO of adorable puppies have been rescued as part of a group of eight dogs found in the back of a van in Tipperary.
The animals were found by Gardai conducting speed checks on the M8 motorway at Ashill, Thurles.
Officers made the doggy-discovery after stopping a van driving over the speed limit.
Even then, it was only while speaking to the driver that Garda became aware of the presence of the animals, who announced their presence with a series of bars.
On closer inspection of the vehicle, the dogs were found rounded up in a series of cages in the back of the van.
The driver was questioned at the scene about the presence of the animals but was unable to provide adequate information on the ownership of the eight dogs.
Gardai later discovered that the collection of canines, including the pups, had a combined value in the region of €5,000.
A garda spokesperson said: “The van was stopped and whilst speaking with the driver, Gardai heard dogs barking in the rear of the van.
“Gardai searched the van and found eight dogs that are believed to be worth in the region of €5,000.
“The driver and passenger could give no explanation as to ownership of the dogs, which were also not microchipped.
“The dogs were seized by Gardai are currently in a local animal shelter. The investigation is ongoing and no arrests have been made.”