The fate of 15 French Bulldog puppies hangs in the balance after police found them covered in feces and urine and without food and water at a cargo facility near Chicago's O'Hare International Airport.
Chicago police said officers were dispatched to an animal abuse incident on Aug. 31 and found the puppies locked in small cages, with one of the animals unfortunately dying before it could be rescued.
A CPD spokesperson said a police investigation revealed the animals received little, if any, care after arriving in the city four days before they were found by officers.
Mary Scheffke of Chicago French Bulldog Rescue said the puppies arrived on an international flight, but that they should have been immediately sent back on the plane after the CDC realized they did not include the proper records.
“If it hadn’t been for the Good Samaritan that approached the police to make the aware of the situation, how many days would those dogs have sat at that warehouse? Nobody was proactive,” Scheffke said.
Chicago police said the company responsible for the shipment was issued two citations, including one citation for 17 counts of animal neglect and one citation for animal neglect which may have contributed to the death of a canine.
Scheffke’s group was asked to help and they subsequently sent the puppies to area veterinarians. So far the vet bills have exceeded $20,000, according to Scheffke.
The puppies remain in isolation, but Scheffke says the CDC is now demanding the return of the puppies.
“We don’t know if they’ll survive this whole ordeal again,” Scheffke said.
A petition that demands that the CDC allow the dogs to stay in the United States and be surrendered to Chicago French Bulldog Rescue has more than 12,000 signatures as of Tuesday afternoon, but Scheffke says the group has exhausted its options and has no choice but to comply with the government’s order.
The Chicago Department of Animal Care and Control said it has been housing two dogs – a Belgian Malinois and a German Shepherd – on behalf of the CDC after they arrived at O’Hare without the appropriate documentation to enter the country.
In a statement, Animal Care and Control said the dogs arrived in good condition and are very friendly. Royal Jordanian Airlines will pick them up on Sept. 28, and they are set to return to Oman that same day.