Chicago - (NBC) - Nearly 100 dogs, mostly designer breed puppies, arrived in Chicago Monday night for what is hopefully the beginning of a better life.
Rescued last week during a raid on a 1,200-square-foot home in Tennessee by the Humane Society's Puppy Mill Talk Force, the dogs traveled to Chicago in a specially-outfitted trailer the length of three large SUVs.
"These animals are very relieved," said Justin Scally, manager of the Puppy Mill Talk Force for the U.S. Humane Society. "There's a noticeable difference from the time that they were removed from the puppy mill and were placed in the emergency shelter, and each day they have gotten better."
Several dozen Anti-Cruelty Society volunteers welcomed the pups and began the unglamorous work of cleaning them, physically and medically, before placing them up for adoption.
While some could be ready for adoption in a few days, the skittish among them could be housed longer until they're more social.
"First we have to calm them down, then feed them and do medical checks and give the kind of care and attention they need," said Anti-Cruelty Society President Dr. Robyn Barbiers.
Nationwide, the Humane Society last year raided a dozen puppy mills and rescued 3,700 dogs and cats.
Last week's raid at Gayla's Poodle Palace in Sparta, Tennessee saved 225 designer dogs, 82 of which were well enough to be transported to Chicago.
Nashville and Bowling Green, KY also received some of the animals.