The organization gained custody of the ailing pups Wednesday after a weeks long arduous journey. The trip allegedly began July 10, when the Humane Society of the United States said 28 French bulldog puppies flew as cargo from Kiev, Ukraine, to Chicago. The next day, the Humane Society said, two individuals loaded the dogs into a moving van that was "not climate controlled" and drove toward Houston.
Texarkana, Texas, Police confirm that state troopers discovered the dogs July 12 during a traffic stop. They were packed tightly in plastic crates, suffering from various stages of heat exhaustion; one puppy was dead.
Texarkana Police arrested 19-year-old Adam Darwish and 18-year-old Mahmoud Eid. Department Public Information Officer Shawn Vaughn said each was charged with 28 counts of "cruelty to a non-livestock animal."
The animal rescue said it was 121 degrees in the back of the moving van when the puppies were found, and they had no access to food or water. Four more puppies died in the weeks following this incident from various illnesses, probably caused or made worse by the conditions in which they were found, the Humane Society said.
Janie Jenkins, a director with the Chicago French Bulldog Rescue, said the dogs were flown because they couldn't handle the stress of another prolonged drive. Jenkins stressed that it's unclear how long the dogs will need to stay in isolated care and asks for donations to help cover the expensive treatment costs. When the puppies are healthy enough, they will go to already-chosen foster homes. Eventually, they will become available for adoption on the Chicago French Bulldog Rescue's website.
How to know if you're buying a dog from the right source
Jenkins said prospective dog owners should avoid pet stores and online sellers, instead purchasing puppies from breeders they can visit in person to see how the mother is living. The Humane Society adds that you can visit local shelters and rescue operations.