4K Beagles From 'Troubled' Research Facility Need Homes

Judge approved plan that will see the Humane Society handle their transfer
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 12, 2022 2:58 PM CDT
4K Beagles From 'Troubled' Research Facility Need Homes
Stock photo of a (hopefully well cared for) beagle.   (Getty Images / izanbar)

Some 4,000 beagles who had been kept at what Science calls a "troubled research beagle breeding facility in Cumberland, Virginia" are now in need of homes. The New York Times reports USDA investigators alleged facility operator Envigo violated federal regulations dozens of times since since 2021, and on May 18, a federal search warrant allowed for the seizure of 145 dogs and puppies there that veterinarians had deemed in "acute distress." WRIC reports that last week, a judge gave the green light to an adoption plan that will see all the remaining beagles—roughly 4,000 of them—transported to the Humane Society over a 60-day period; it will work with its shelter and rescue partners to get them placed in homes, with adoptions beginning as soon as late August.

It comes after Science reports an animal crime investigator within Virginia's attorney general's office said in an affidavit that she noted unfilled water bowls, insects in the food, and dogs standing in their own excrement. The Times reports USDA officials also alleged that beagles who needed to be put down were not always administered anesthesia first. PETA also lobbed allegations at the facility following an "undercover investigation" in 2021. Sens. Tim Kaine and Mark Warner said in a statement: "After months of advocacy, we’re heartened to know that nearly 4,000 Envigo dogs will be spared a lifetime of suffering and will instead head to loving homes."

Science offers some backstory on Envigo, which reportedly supplied research dogs to universities, pharmaceutical companies, and the National Institutes of Health. It was acquired by Inotiv in November 2021, and Inotiv President and CEO Robert Leasure in June said the Cumberland facility will be closed; keeping it open would require that the buildings be upgraded to comply with the Animal Welfare Act. The Times-Dispatch reports those who want to get on a list to potentially adopt one of the beagles are invited to call State Senator Bill Stanley's office at (540) 721-6028.

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