LOS ANGELES -- Eight Pomeranian puppies were found in an unusual bust at LAX airport earlier this month in California.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers say they caught two Russian travelers attempting to smuggle the puppies into the country through Los Angeles.
The two travelers arrived at the airport from Moscow on Aug. 9 after having declared that they were bringing four dogs with them on vacation, according to officials.
However, officials with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention determined that their vaccine paperwork had been forged. Customs agents then discovered four more puppies "hidden in an abandoned carry-on bag left by the travelers in the inspection area," according to a press release.
Both travelers eventually admitted that they had brought the puppies into the country to be sold before they were all sent back to Russia.
Officials say the incident is a reminder about regulations surrounding bringing pets into the U.S. Rabies vaccinations are required for all dogs entering the country.
"According to the CDC, smuggled puppies is an issue of concern because of the high risk of human exposure to deadly animal diseases including rabies," said LaFonda Sutton-Burke, CBP Area Port Director of the Los Angeles International Airport, in a statement.