While their faces are certainly cute, their life stories decidedly are not.
Nearly 100 dogs, mostly designer breed puppies, arrived in Chicago Monday night for what is hopefully the beginning of a better life.
Rescued last week during a raid on a 1,200 square foot home in Tennessee by the Humane Society's Puppy Mill Talk Force, the dogs travelled to Chicago in a specially-outfitted trailer the length of three large SUVs.
"These animals are very relieved," said Justin Scally, the Manager of the Puppy Mill Talk Force for the U.S. Humane Society. "There's a noticeable difference from the time that they were removed from the puppy mill and were placed in the emergency shelter, and each day they have gotten better."
Several dozen Anti-Cruelty Society volunteers were at the ready, welcoming the pups home and beginning the unglamorous work of cleaning the dogs and clearing them medically before placing them up for adoption.
While some could be ready for adoption in a few days, the skittish among them could be housed longer until they're more social.
"First we have to calm them down, then feed them and do medical checks and give the kind of care and attention they need," said Anti-Cruelty Society President Dr. Robyn Barbiers.
Nationwide, the Humane Society last year raided a dozen puppy mills and rescued 3,700 dogs and cats. Last week's raid at Gayla's Poodle Palace in Sparta, Tenn., saved 225 designer dogs. Eighty-two of them were well enough to be transported to Chicago. Nashville and Bowling Green, Kentucky also received some of the animals.