AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREOregon Ducks football players get stuck on Disney ride during Rose Bowl eventThe puppies, ages 3 to 6 weeks, included Chihuahuas, boxers, cocker spaniels and poodle mixes. After two weeks of monitoring, they will be placed in shelters for adoption. The driver was charged with 28 misdemeanor counts of animal cruelty, Danielson said. Vince Bond, a Customs and Border Protection spokesman, said the driver – whom he identified only as a U.S. citizen – was also cited for failure to declare a shipment. Puppies are often purchased in Mexico for between $50 and $150, then sold at street corners, parking lots and flea markets in Southern California for between $300 and $1,000 each, according to the Border Puppy Task Force. The task force of animal control and health agencies and animal protection groups formed in 2004 after a rash of complaints from brokenhearted owners who reported their dogs were turning sick and often dying. It is legal to cross the border with dogs if they are declared at Customs and they have rabies shots and health records, but many are smuggled. SAN DIEGO – More than two dozen puppies were seized from a motorist who tried to smuggle them into the United States from Mexico under the front seat of a minivan, authorities said Wednesday. Many of the 28 puppies were infested with parasites, dehydrated, and too weak to stand, said Dawn Danielson, director of the San Diego County Department of Animal Services. None have died – yet. “It’s going to be touch-and-go for a lot of these puppies,” Danielson said. A Customs and Border Protection officer noticed a paw reach out from under the front seat of the Dodge Caravan about 6 p.m. Tuesday at San Diego’s Otay Mesa border crossing, authorities said. The opening had been taped shut to prevent the puppies from getting out. “You can equate it to drugs,” Danielson said. “As long as there’s demand on this side of the border, these puppies are going to keep coming because it’s a big business.”160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!