About 4,000 beagles will be in need of new homes as rescuers remove them from a Virginia breeding facility that has been accused of neglecting and mistreating the dogs.
The Department of Justice and the Humane Society of the United States are in the process of rescuing the pups from the Envigo breeding and research facility in Cumberland after a federal judge approved their request to remove the animals.
The rescuers have about 60 days to get the beagles out of the facility, provide any necessary medical care like vaccinations and spay and neuter surgeries and find them new homes.
The undertaking is one of the largest canine rescue efforts in the country’s history, according to one animal rescue group.
The hounds were bred in the Envigo facility to be sold for use in pharmaceutical and biotech research, according to its website — which states animal welfare is a top priority of the company.
However, numerous inspections of the facility over the past two years showed otherwise.
Federal inspectors found instances of malnourished, sick and injured beagles in Envingo’s care. The dogs were kept in cages where feces and food waste piled up, according to court documents.
More than 300 puppies died at the facility between January and July of last year, the complaint states.
The appalling conditions prompted federal authorities to take court action last year.
Envingo agreed to the court-approved rescue plan — which will remove every dog from its custody. The company filed the joint request for the animals’ transfer alongside the DOJ and Humane Society.
Inotiv, Inc., which acquired Envingo in November 2021, announced last month that it plans to shutter the Virginia facility as part of a restructuring effort.
The 4,000 beagles, which are known to be great family dogs, are being transferred to rescue organizations and foster homes across the country.
Local Virginia-based nonprofit Homeward Trails Animal Rescue is helping with the massive undertaking.
The organization has already rescued nearly 500 beagles from the facility and placed them all in foster and forever homes by May — prior to the 4,000 soon to be released.
It’s now helping to coordinate placement of the thousands of pouches and is asking anyone interested in fostering one of the beagles to email them at [email protected]