On Tuesday afternoon, Galway County Council were notified of an abandoned horse trailer in Ballydavid, Athenry by a member of the public, which was found to contain 16 puppies.
The pups were between 8 and 12 weeks old.
Gardaí and the local dog warden attended at the scene.
According to the dog rescue and shelter organisation MARDA, most of the puppies were discovered “emaciated and weak.”
It is understood that the they were all dehydrated, had no vaccinations and were “riddled with external and internal parasites.”
The puppies then received initial veterinary treatment and were taken to the rescue shelter.
Since then, six of the puppies have passed away, and the other ten are “fighting for their lives”.
“The pups previous caretakers allowed them to get into horrendous condition, emaciated, riddled with fleas, lice and roundworm and ultimately, left in a trailer with no access to food or water,” MADRA said in a statement.
“They had no reserves to pull from and some had no more fight left in them.”
MADRA believes that these dogs were being bred for illegitimate trade, and has appealed to anyone with any information to contact gardai.
“It is believed that these pups were being gathered from various illegitimate breeders and that the trailer was a meeting point for illegal onward transport to the UK,” they said.
“We would like to urge anyone with information on this type of illegal trade and breeding in poor conditions to come forward to the gardaí.
“And if you are considering bringing a puppy or dog into your life, please visit one of Ireland’s many reputable rescues where hundreds of beautiful dogs await a loving home.”
Sixteen puppies were found in “appalling” conditions earlier this week inside a trailer in Athenry, Co Galway.