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Parvo-infected poodle-mix puppies rescued by border control agents

December 17, 2009 |  2:30 pm

Puppies

Fifteen miniature poodle-mix puppies were intercepted by border control agents Monday night as a man allegedly attempted to smuggle them to the U.S. from Mexico. Most of the 2-month-old puppies were found to be suffering from the highly contagious and often deadly parvovirus and were rushed to an emergency veterinary hospital for treatment.

The alleged smuggler, Raul Jimenez Gonzalez, was detained at the port of entry in Tecate, Calif. Jimenez Gonzalez initially claimed a single bottle of tequila when he attempted to cross the border. Officers noticed movement under a blanket in the back seat of his vehicle during a routine stop and found the puppies when they investigated. 

According to authorities, Jimenez Gonzalez admitted that he had been attempting to smuggle the puppies into the U.S. to sell them as Christmas presents in Los Angeles. It doesn't appear to be the first time he's been accused of such an operation, our sister blog L.A. Now reports: Officials have tied Jimenez Gonzalez to two previous incidents, one in 2006 and one in 2007, in which he was allegedly involved in smuggling a total of 38 puppies into the U.S. 

San Diego County Department of Animal Services officials said they were working with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency to determine which, if any, charges would be filed against Jimenez Gonzalez.

-- Lindsay Barnett

Photo: The parvovirus-infected puppies that were rescued. Credit: Associated Press

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