Two men were arrested for alleged animal cruelty after 50 puppies were discovered in two cars on Tuesday.

The puppies, bred illegally on a puppy farm, included a number of cocker and springer spaniels, terriers, beagles and labrador breeds, and 25 Jack Russells.

It is understood the haul of animals were destined for the UK market.

The animals were discovered when plain clothes police searched two vehicles on Old Malahide Road in the Coolock area of North Dublin on Tuesday, the Irish Examiner reports.

The young animals were kept in the trunk of the car in boxes.

According to the Dublin Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (DSPCA), several of the confiscated animals were suffering from a number of conditions including mange, ear mites, fleas, eye infections and parasitic infections. Many had their tails docked and claws removed.

Some of the puppies are receiving special care, as they were too young to have been taken from their mothers.

A police spokesman said two males in their 20s and 30s were arrested at the scene and were questioned at Coolock Garda Station, before being released.

"The investigation is ongoing," the spokesman added.

Brian Gillen, Dublin Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (DSPCA) chief executive, urged the public to be vigilant when purchasing a puppy.

“Do not buy from the boot of a car or a van, and always arrange to meet the puppy with its parents at the breeders home. The conditions the mother is living in is a good indication of the health and welfare of the animals,” Gillen told the Irish Examiner.