A group of 432 beagles Thursday became the first part of a “historic operation” to remove around 4,000 from a Virginia facility that bred the dogs for animal experimentation in laboratories, the Human Society of the United States announced.
At the Envigo RMS LLC facility, in Cumberland, Va., government inspectors found that beagles there were being killed instead of receiving veterinary treatment for easily treated conditions. Additionally, 25 puppies died from cold exposure, nursing mother beagles were denied food, and food that the dogs did receive contained maggots, mold and feces.
Due to overcrowded conditions, the dogs would attack one another, leaving injuries.
“Despite the long day, the puppies perked up and immediately started bounding around their kennels and playing as soon as they settled in,” said Jessica Johnson, senior director of the Animal Rescue Team for the Humane Society of the United States.
WATCH THE BEAGLE RESCUE HERE:
Homeward Trails, Priceless Pets, Helen Woodward Animal Center and Kindness Ranch Animal Sanctuary helped the Humane Society pick up dogs from the facility this week and 201 of the beagles were transported to the Humane Society’s rehabilitation center. After receiving care, the beagles will be transported to the MSPCA nonprofit, Wisconsin Humane and Dakin Humane.
RedRover Responders are also assisting the HSUS with daily animal needs.
“The removal of these dogs occurred pursuant to a transfer plan that was submitted by the Department of Justice and Envigo RMS LLC, with the agreement of the Humane Society of the United States to assume the responsibility of coordinating placement,” the Humane Society explained.
This plan was the result of a federal lawsuit filed against Envigo by the Department of Justice in May. The department alleged that there were Animal Welfare Act violations at the facility.
Kitty Block, president and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States, said she is “honored” that the Justice Department asked the organization to lead the rescue efforts.
“This is a truly historic moment in animal protection, as 4,000 beagles are spared a life of animal testing,” she said.
“It takes a massive network of compassionate, expert shelters and rescue groups to make an operation of this scale possible,” said Lindsay Hamrick, shelter outreach and engagement director for the Humane Society of the United States. “We are deeply grateful to each organization that is stepping up to find these dogs the loving homes they so deserve.”
People who are interested in adopting one of the survivor beagles can find more information about the program on the Humane Society website.