‘Mission accomplished’: Last of 4,000 beagles rescued from Virginia breeding facility

RICHMOND, Va. — The last group of beagles was rescued from a mass breeding facility in Virginia, nearly two months after a judge approved the plan for the dogs to be removed.

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The Humane Society of the United States said in a news release that it had removed the final group of 312 beagles from the facility, and that 52 of the dogs were being taken directly to the group’s care center.

Nearly 4,000 dogs were rescued from Envigo, a dog breeding facility in Virginia, which had been sued by the federal government in May over animal welfare concerns. Federal inspections dating back to 2019 found numerous violations, including dogs receiving inadequate medical care, lack of food, and that dogs “had been euthanized without first receiving anesthesia,” as we previously reported.

Envigo and the Humane Society of the United States reached a joint agreement in July to transfer ownership of the animals to local shelters so that the dogs could be adopted. Under the agreement, Envigo paid the Humane Society $100 for each dog and $150 for each nursing mother and litter at the time of transfer.

“Our Animal Rescue Team’s work to transfer these beagles is a milestone in a fight we’ve been waging for years,” Kitty Block, president and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States, said in a statement. “Even as we celebrate these lucky dogs going to loving homes, we’re focused on creating a future where no dogs will face that kind of fate.”

The beagles’ removal required the coordination of shelters nationwide, which took the dogs in. Hundreds of shelters across 27 states took in the beagles, USA Today reported.

Among those who took in rescued dogs were Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, who adopted a 7-year-old beagle named Momma Mia to live with them in Montecito.

The Humane Society has a list of its partner organizations on its website, featuring those which have taken in the rescued beagles.