July 14, 2022
Thousands of beagles are being rescued from a dog breeding facility in Virginia—and they’re in need of new homes, reports Fox News.
The Humane Society of the United States announced on July 7 that about 4,000 beagles will be removed from Envigo, a medical contract breeding facility that has been accused of having unfit conditions.
Envigo’s facility in Cumberland, Virginia, was taken to court in 2021 after the USDA and other law enforcement agencies found multiple federal violations.
In a filed complaint with the U.S. District Court in the Western District of Virginia, adult and puppy beagles were said to be underfed, injured, and sick. The dogs were reportedly kept in small spaces where feces piled up.
The complaint also alleged that the dogs received inadequate medical care and were subject to painful medical science experiments. Court records stated that more than 300 puppies died at the facility between January and July of last year.
In June 2022, Envigo’s parent company, Inotiv, publicly announced it plans to shutter the facility.
The Humane Society says it worked with the United States Department of Justice to develop a transfer plan that will move the remaining beagles to adoption facilities around the country.
“At this time, we are connecting with our shelter and rescue partners and preparing to take on the monumental process of securing placement for these dogs,” the Humane Society wrote in a statement, on July 7.
“The transfer plan was jointly submitted to the Court for approval by Envigo, the Department of Justice, and the Humane Society of the United States,” the statement continued. “Now that the Court has approved the joint transfer plan, we and our partners are preparing to move quickly to place these beagles in loving homes.”
Homeward Trails Animal Rescue, a nonprofit animal welfare group in Fairfax Station, Virginia, is one local shelter that’s taking in some of the rescued beagles.
The group previously rescued 475 beagles from the facility.
This time around, Homeward Trails will facilitate the transfer of another 1,500 beagles to partner organizations. “We hope to start this process around July 19th,” Homeward Trails’ Executive Director Sue Bell wrote in an email to Fox News Digital.
Beagles are a hound group dog that’s said to be “friendly,” “curious” and “merry,” according to the American Kennel Club. The breed is a small one that can grow up to 15 inches in height and weigh up to 30 pounds. They have a 10- to 15-year life expectancy and tend to be affectionate with family and well-behaved with children and other dogs.
Melissa McWilliams, the chief development direcort of the Beagle Freedom Project—a nonprofit animal rescue organization headquartered in Valley Village, California, told Fox News Digital that the rescued beagles will require special care, much like other rescued lab animals.
“Even though these animals were liberated before they were sold to testing facilities, they still have trauma and behaviors that are foreign to many families opening up their homes to these animals,” McWilliams said. “For these purpose-bred beagles, they have never received a kind touch, nutritious food or even a treat, had an opportunity to play, or know what grass feels like.”
She continued, “These beagles can be extremely fearful, especially in the first few weeks outside the breeding facility, which is overwhelming for many unprepared families because they require so much care and attention. Patience is the most important part of their healing process.”
McWilliams said potential foster and adoptive families will need to put in extra time for potty training, socializing (with humans and dogs), finding the right dog food, securing their home, and staying up to date on veterinary care.
Beagle Freedom Project has created a Care Guide for Envigo Beagles document that breaks down everything potential dog owners need to know about the special needs that lab dogs have.
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