The 15 French Bulldog puppies rescued at a cargo facility near O'Hare International Airport last month are now healthy and almost ready to find new homes.
After quarantining for 30 days and being nursed back to good health, the Chicago French Bulldog Rescue said the puppies will be placed in foster care until they are ready to be adopted.
During their quarantine, the French Bulldogs received their rabies shots, which allowed them to remain in the U.S, according to Dr. Emily Swiniarski, chief medical officer for PAWS Chicago.
"Other international countries have actual dogs on the street that have rabies and so they have to be very cautious when dogs from other countries come to the U.S.," Swiniarski said. "They need to be quarantined to make sure they don’t have the disease."
The Chicago rescue group declared victory earlier this month following a contentious battle with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control over whether to return the French Bulldog puppies found covered in feces and urine at a Chicago cargo facility.
"These animals should not be going through what they went through," PAWS Chicago Founder Paula Fasseas said.
Swiniarski said the French Bulldogs were diagnosed with stomach parasites, but have now been treated.
While these puppies are safe and recovering, the rescue group reminded people of one puppy that died "likely only knowing a life of confinement and suffering."
"These circumstances have revealed profound systemic problems that must be addressed," Chicago French Bulldog Rescue attorney Kelly Dworniczek said. "It is unconscionable that dogs can be denied entry into the country and then stranded awaiting return without food, supervision or care when there are no facilities available to house them."
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.
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.