A Chicago animal rescue group declared victory Friday following a contentious battle with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control over whether to return 15 French Bulldog puppies found covered in feces and urine at a cargo facility near O'Hare International Airport last month.
Chicago French Bulldog Rescue announced Friday that the dogs will be allowed to stay in the U.S. permanently, and the animal rescue group's attorney is working on the final details of an agreement it reached with the CDC and airline in question, Royal Jordanian Air.
The shipment of 20 dogs was denied entry into the U.S. on Aug. 28 due to fraudulent paperwork, and the dogs were subsequently taken to an air cargo facility under the care of Royal Jordanian Air, a statement from the CDC read.
After a tipster alerted police of the dogs' conditions, Chicago police said the company was issued two citations, including one for 17 counts of animal neglect and a citation for animal neglect which may have contributed to the death of a canine.
The Chicago-based rescue took in the majority of the dogs in hope of nursing them back to health.
After multiple weeks, the CDC initially demanded that the rescue return the bulldogs to the O'Hare warehouse where they were discovered, however the rescue refused, citing concerns for the dogs' health and well-being.
More than 120,000 people had signed a petition, asking the CDC to allow the dogs to stay inside the U.S.
After a quarantine period, the dogs will be placed into foster homes by the rescue, and will receive further treatment and training before being placed for adoption.
"Saving these puppies lives was only achieved through acts both small and large of literally over one hundred thousand people”, Mary Scheffke, director of Chicago French Bulldog Rescue, said in a news release. “We now must harness the momentum to fix the broken system and create permanent change.”