More than a dozen puppies are now in Chicago, transported from Missouri over the weekend, as puppy mill owners try to diminish their populations after the passage of an anti-cruelty referendum in that state.
The dogs -- small breed dogs ranging in age from 1 to 10 years old -- arrived Saturday and are in the care of the Anti-Cruelty Society. There, each dog will have a veterinary examination and behavioral screening to get a check on its health and personality.
Once cleared by veterinarians, the dogs will be available for the adoption, perhaps in time for Christmas.
"Knowing the background of these dogs, potential adopters will be made aware of medical conditions before considering adopting." Dr. Robyn Barbiers, the President of The Anti-Cruelty Society, said in a news release. "In the future, the dogs could require additional veterinary care, and their owners should expect to incur additional veterinary costs."
Interested adopters are asked to check AntiCruelty.org for updates on the dogs' status.
The recent passage of Proposition B has had Missouri puppy mill owners rushing to get rid of many of their dogs. Missouri is known to many as the "puppy mill capital of the nation," and the referendum passed last month by a 52 percent to 48 percent margin aims to prohibit the cruel and inhumane treatment of dogs in puppy mills.
It limits each breeder to 50 breeding dogs, require dogs to be fed daily, and limits the breeding of animals to no more than twice in 18 months. Those who violate the new laws, which take effect beginning in 2011, face up to 15 days in jail and a $300 fine.
Conservatives fought against the referendum, arguing that it wouldn't do anything to curb animal abuse.
"It does nothing to solve the problem of dog abuse," said Missouri Sen. Bill Stouffer, of Napton. "It only targets licensed dealers, and people that are ignoring the law now are not affected by this."