15 French bulldogs get to stay in US thanks to local rescue shelters

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CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) – Fifteen French bulldogs found in an O’Hare warehouse and set to be deported get to have a new life after PAWS Chicago and the Chicago French Bulldog Rescue worked with federal officials to negotiate their permanent stay.

The dogs, which came on a plane from Jordan, were set to be deported back because they did not have valid vaccine certifications as required by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for animals coming from countries with high risk of rabies. But instead, Royal Jordanian Air handed the puppies to the warehouse for holding on Aug. 28. The puppies were discovered almost three days later with no food and water and one already dead, according to PAWS.

Chicago Police found the dogs and then moving parts were set in motion in partnership with PAWS, local animal welfare officials and the Chicago French Bulldog Rescue to agree to terms so the animals could stay, according to Paula Fasseas, PAWS Chicago founder.

Those advocating for the dogs included one of the New York housewives, Tinsley Mortimer, a PAWS board member, and animal activist and actress Louise Linton Mnuchin, wife of U.S. Secretary of Treasury Steven Mnuchin. His wife has been instrumental in working with the United States Department of Health and Human Services, PAWS said. Congressman Mike Quigley and Sen. Tammy Duckworth also got involved.

“Everyone came together,” Fasseas said. “We need to work on legislation now so these kinds of things don’t happen.”

She said the dogs would have likely died if not for the police officer and warehouse manager who found them.

“O’Hare airport needs to have a facility like JFK does, where animals can be quarantined, so animals are not stuck in a warehouse without food and water,” she said.

The organization started a petition to request animal welfare legislation to stop illegal animal importing.

PAWS is caring for the dogs and the French Bulldog rescue will handle the adoptions, but not before working with each dog and making sure they all get vaccinated, have proper medical attention and can rest up in quarantine.