Animal rescue groups across the U.S. band together to rescue 4,000 beagles


tricolor beagle puppy on brown soil

Several animal rescue organizations across the U.S. are working quickly to rehome approximately 4,000 beagles from a research facility in Virginia. The organizations are committed to finding good homes for the dogs and giving them the chance at a better life.

The Humane Society of the United States is partnering with the U.S. Justice Department to relocate these dogs to shelters within a few weeks. The Humane Society is taking the lead on this effort to improve the dogs’ quality of life.

The Envigo facility was found to be in violation of several federal regulations this year when the U.S. Agriculture Department reports found the beagles in horrendous condition. The beagles were bred for pharmaceutical research and testing, but they were kept in cramped, dirty cages and many were suffering from health problems.

At least two inspection reports have revealed that the facility “performed unnecessarily painful medical procedures on dogs and puppies – including euthanasia without a sedative.” This information was publicized by Sens. Mark Warner and Tim Kaine of Virginia this year. Other reports have revealed that dogs are being held in sweltering shelters for hours on end, and that research conducted at the facility has caused distress to nursing dogs and their puppies, the senators said in a March news release.

After animal welfare advocates raised concerns about the treatment of dogs at a commercial breeding facility in Missouri, federal authorities intervened. Last week, a federal judge ordered that the thousands of remaining dogs at the facility be released. The authorities now have just 60 days to rehome these animals.


brown white and black beagle covered with white blanket

Several animal rescue organizations from around the United States are preparing to take in a the first batch of dogs next week from California. The organizations taking part in this effort are based in California, Wyoming, and Virginia. This is a massive undertaking for each organization, and will come with a significant amount of expenses. Despite this, the groups are committed to helping as many dogs as possible.

“It’s one of the most daunting rescues that I’ve ever heard of or have had the privilege of being involved in,” said John Ramer, the executive director of the Kindness Ranch Animal Sanctuary in Wyoming. Ramer’s organization rescues all types of animals that were previously used in scientific research and testing and provides them with lifelong sanctuary. The organization also educates the public about the plight of these animals and advocates for stricter regulation of animal testing.

“When I carry one dog out of a facility, I can tap it on the head and give it a hug and tell him that everything’s gonna be OK,” he said. “But pulling 4,000 out … it’s an inconceivable number of dogs.”

Ramer’s group recently purchased a $65,000 van in order to be able to transport 32 dogs at once on a trip from Virginia to Wyoming. He said that Kindness Ranch will likely have to take five or six trips in order to bring back as many beagles as possible. This is necessary because there is an overabundance of beagles in shelters and not enough people are adopting them.

The group is also looking into leasing property in Texas to give more beagles space to rehabilitate, he said. This would give them ample room to roam and plenty of opportunities to socialize with other dogs, two key elements in helping these pups transition into loving forever homes.

Homeward Trails Animal Rescue in Virginia has been working diligently with other beagles who were rescued earlier this year from the Envigo facility. This rescue organization is committed to giving these defenseless animals the loving homes they deserve.

Homeward Trails, an animal rescue organization, signed an agreement with Envigo, a company that specializes in research services for the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries, earlier this year to take in 500 beagles that the company could not properly care for because of COVID-19, according to Sue Bell, the executive director of Homeward Trails.

Thanks to the group’s efforts, all of the dogs were placed in either foster or adoptive homes by May.

This current collection of 4,000 more dogs from the same facility is a whole new ballgame. The sheer number of animals involved presents significant challenges that we have never faced before.

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