WASHINGTON — Thousands of rescued beagles are now destined for their 'forever' homes and the lives they deserve. The Humane Society of the United States called it 'mission accomplished' after it finished the task of rescuing nearly 4,000 beagles from a facility in Cumberland, Virginia which bred dogs to be sold to labs for animal experimentation.
The Humane Society said the last group of 312 beagles was removed from the facility on Sept. 1. They will be taken to shelters and other rescue partners to find loving homes.
The Humane Society said it began this operation in July, at the request of the U.S. Department of Justice. In May, the Department of Justice filed a lawsuit that cited the breeding facility, Envigo RMS LLC, for violations of the Animal Welfare Act.
“Our animal rescue team’s work to transfer these beagles is a milestone in a fight we’ve been waging for years," said Kitty Block, president and CEO of the Humane Society.
"It’s ironic that these dogs were only spared from a lifetime of pain, suffering and isolation in testing labs because this breeding facility was cited for Animal Welfare Act violations," Block said. "Most of them would have been sold and spent their short lives in laboratories. Many people don’t realize that an average of 60,000 dogs just like these are still used in laboratories each year."
"The Humane Society will continue the work of promoting alternatives to animal testing so that this antiquated practice may come to an end,” said Miguel Abi-hassan, chief animal rescue, care and sanctuary officer for the Humane Society.
The organization said the rescued beagles have been placed with more than 120 shelters and other partners across the country. Several beagles have been taken in by shelters, rescue groups and foster families in DC, Maryland and Virginia.
People who are interested in adopting a beagle can see the list here, of shelters and other partners that are placing the dogs in their adoption programs.