Home 4K beagles freed from Virginia breeding facility: Humane Society working on rescue plan

4K beagles freed from Virginia breeding facility: Humane Society working on rescue plan

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The Humane Society of the United States and the U.S. Department of Justice are working on a rescue plan with Beagle Freedom Project (BFP) to find homes for 4,000 beagles taken from a breeding facility in Cumberland, Virginia.

“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,” The Humane Society said in a statement.

Envigo closed in June after letters, petition signatures and communication from members of the public encouraged the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate the facility, according to BFP’s website. The facility was taken to court last year after the U.S. Department of Agriculture and other law enforcement agencies determined multiple violations at the facility. A complaint filed with the U.S. District Court in Virginia’s Western District revealed that adult and puppy beagles were ill, underfed and injured. They were reportedly confined in small spaces and feces was permitted to pile up. In the complaint, dogs allegedly received inadequate medical care and were subjected to painful medical experiments. Court records revealed that more than 300 puppies died between January and July of 2021 at the facility.

Envigo was BFP’s first target in its campaign Open Cages Naming Names, an initiative to put the animal testing industry on blast. “We have seen the worst of it and we made a promise that once we knew the time was right and the world was ready to hear and see the evidence we collected, we would release the information we had and start naming names,” BFP’s website states.

BFP, a nonprofit headquartered in California and founded in 2010, works to rescue animals from testing laboratories and give them homes. Beagles are most often chosen for lab work because of their gentle nature and disposition. BFP has put together the Care Guide for Envigo Beagles to aid individuals and families who adopt or foster beagles from the facility. Animals who have only experienced cruel environments require extra care and attention to recover from what they have endured.

BFP shared a video on its website about Mother’s Day at Envigo in which mother beagles are seen deprived of food so that their milk would dry up and their puppies would die. According to BFP, this practice served no scientific purpose.

“Above all, after everything these animals have endured, our focus is on ensuring they are placed in the right environment with patient caregivers who give them time to heal, build trust and discover the joy of being a dog,” BFP’s website states about Envigo.

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca J. Barnabi is the national editor of Augusta Free Press. A graduate of the University of Mary Washington, she began her journalism career at The Fredericksburg Free-Lance Star. In 2013, she was awarded first place for feature writing in the Maryland, Delaware, District of Columbia Awards Program, and was honored by the Virginia School Boards Association’s 2019 Media Honor Roll Program for her coverage of Waynesboro Schools. Her background in newspapers includes writing about features, local government, education and the arts.