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CHICAGO — A local animal rescue organization refuses to turn over a group of French bulldogs.

Fifteen bulldog puppies — who were neglected and in bad health when they were found — were left in a warehouse at O’Hare International Airport after they arrived from Jordan on Aug. 31.

The CDC said the paperwork on the dogs was fraudulent and that it was not clear if the dogs had proper vaccinations, particularly rabies. A person who works at the airport called the Chicago Police Department. The dogs sat in cages with no food or water or medical attention for four days.

Some of the animals were bleeding from their paws and had burns from their urine, according to Kelly Dworniczek, with the Chicago French Bulldog Rescue.

The CDC had ordered that the dogs be deported back to Jordan by Monday, but the Chicago French Bulldog Rescue says it will not be turning the dogs over.

The group released the following statement on Facebook Sunday night:

“Out of ongoing concern by Chicago French Bulldog Rescue for the health and welfare of the 15 puppies rescued from a warehouse at O’Hare International Airport, I have informed all relevant agencies of the government and Royal Jordanian Airlines earlier today that the rescue will not be turning over the 15 French bulldog puppies to anyone tomorrow, Monday at 9:00 am.” 

Chicago French Bulldog Rescue

The organization says the bulldogs were bought by an illegal importer from Russia, and they could be put down if they’re sent back to Jordan.

Congressman Mike Quigley, who is working with the CDC to let the dogs stay, released the following statement to WGN:

I’m relieved that these puppies will be able to remain in the US for the moment but this is only the first step. While I will continue to urge the CDC and Royal Jordanian airlines to allow the puppies to stay in the US and save their lives, if we want to be sure that nothing like this happens again, we have to cut off the demand. That means adopting pets from local shelters whenever possible or, if you choose, using a reputable, domestic breeder. As long as bad breeders have the possibility of income, they will continue to place animals’ lives at risk,” said Quigley. “I also plan to remain in contact with the CDC about how to prevent incidents like this in the future, including the possibility of improving quarantine options at O’Hare Airport, and will be working with airlines to learn how we can work together to stop illegal animal importing.

Congressman Mike Quigley

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Six Flags Great America released the following statement regarding the shooting:

Six Flags dedicates our greatest amount of time, talent and resources to safety and security.

Layers of preventative measures both inside and outside the park are in place for the protection of guests and team members. We continue to review and enhance our protocol on a daily basis to ensure we are providing the highest level of safety.

Cameras placed in the parking lot and inside the park, uniformed and plain clothes patrols throughout the property, and advanced screening technology allow us to react quickly and provide important information. The park security team is joined by the Gurnee Police Department, who operates a substation at the park.

This evening, we are incredibly grateful to our team members who reacted in a professional manner to take care of our guests, and for the Gurnee Police Department for their on-going presence and commitment to Six Flags Great America.