Twenty-eight puppies are in the care of Mid and East Antrim Borough Council after being recovered from a truck near Larne Port.
The cockapoos and cocker spaniel pups were recovered after the PSNI stopped the vehicle following a tip-off by a member of the public.
They will now be given a medical examination by vets and rehomed with the assistance of local charities.
The discovery comes just weeks after 17 pups were resuced during a similar operation before Christmas.
They were discovered hidden underneath a lorry transporting livestock at Larne Port.
These dachshunds, cock-a-poos and springer spaniels, were also taken into the council’s care.
They have now been rehomed with the assistance of three charities, Mid Antrim Animal Sanctuary, Almost Home and the USPCA.
Mid and East Antrim Borough Council says that it has also been working with DAERA (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) in recent weeks to detect more illegal movement of dogs at ports across Northern Ireland.
Patricia Allen, head of council’s public protection, health and well-being said: “We’ve been working closely with statutory organisations in recent months and it’s great to see that with this level of collaboration, almost 40 pups have been recovered.
“A special thanks goes to the member of the public who called in. Without their help we don’t know what would have happened to these dogs.”