Last month, 28 French Bulldog puppies were found by a Texas Department of Public Safety officer packed tightly in plastic crates in a moving van in Texarkana, Texas. The Humane Society of the United States was asked to help find placement for these dogs, and connected local authorities to Chicago French Bulldog Rescue, a rescue partner in Chicago, Illinois. Today, the surviving puppies were transported to Illinois by the Chicago French Bulldog Rescue to continue to receive rehabilitative care and eventually seek adoption.
It was 121 degrees inside the back of the moving van, where the puppies were found without access to food and water. They were suffering from heat-related illnesses.
The Humane Society of the United States provided financial assistance to pay for the care of the puppies before they could be moved to Chicago French Bulldog Rescue. HSUS is grateful to the City of Texarkana, the City Attorney, the Texarkana Texas Police Department, the Texas SPCA, Texas State Troopers, the Bowie County District Attorney and the Chicago French Bulldog Rescue for their considerable efforts to rescue these puppies from the cruel conditions they were confined in.
July 10–28 - French Bulldog puppies are loaded into cargo aboard a Turkish Airlines flight from Kiev, Ukraine to Chicago, IL.
The final destination of the puppies is intended to be Houston, TX, but the individual who purchased them is denied entry into George Bush Intercontinental Airport for the purpose of importing live animals.
July 11 - The individual rents a moving van, which is not climate controlled, in Chicago and loads the puppies into the van. He and another individual begin the drive from Chicago to Houston.
July 12 - The van is pulled over in Texarkana by Texas State Troopers. 27 puppies are found in various stages of heat exhaustion in plastic cargo containers in the van and one puppy is found dead.
July 12-26 - Assistance in finding a rescue partner, and financial support, is requested of and provided by HSUS. Four additional puppies die from various illness, possibly caused or exacerbated by the compromised conditions in which they were discovered. HSUS works with rescue partner, Chicago French Bulldog Rescue, and local authorities, to ensure that if ownership is divested of the individual responsible, that the animals go to Chicago French Bulldog Rescue.
July 26 - A civil forfeiture hearing is held. It is determined that the puppies were treated cruelly. The Court divests ownership of the animals and orders they be awarded to the Chicago French Bulldog Rescue.
August 6 - The July 26 court order is not appealed, and as a result the court order to award the puppies to the Chicago French Bulldog Rescue is enforceable.
August 8 - The Chicago French Bulldog Rescue picks the puppies up in Texarkana and flies them to Chicago, where they will receive intensive rehabilitative care.
“Without the swift intervention of local law enforcement, it is likely many more of these puppies would have succumbed to heat stroke and died during the remaining 300-mile journey to Houston in the sweltering heat of that cargo van,” said Katie Jarl, regional director for the Humane Society of the United States. “Sadly, puppies sold at local pet stores and flea markets across Texas endure similar mistreatment and we encourage anyone looking for a pet to visit their local shelter or rescue.”