The Humane Society of the United States embarks on a historic operation involving the transfer of approximately 4,000 beagles from the Envigo facility in Cumberland, Virginia.
August 10 Update: Halfway there! More than 2,000 beagles are now on their way to better lives all across the country. Watch them play in video below!
The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) is the sole party responsible for coordinating the removal of approximately 4,000 beagles housed at a facility which bred dogs to be sold to laboratories for animal experimentation.
The transfer plan was approved by the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia after being submitted by the Department of Justice and Envigo RMS LLC, with the agreement of the Humane Society of the United States to assume this huge responsibility. The transfer will take place in stages over the next 60 days, and the dogs will be up for adoption to loving homes via the Humane Society of the United States’ shelter and rescue partners.
The transfer plan comes as a result of a lawsuit filed against Envigo by the Department of Justice in May, alleging Animal Welfare Act violations at the facility. Repeated federal inspections have resulted in dozens of violations, including findings that some dogs had been “euthanized” without first receiving anesthesia, that dogs had received inadequate veterinary care and insufficient food, and that they were living in unsanitary conditions.
In June, Inotiv Inc. announced it would close the Virginia breeding facility operated by Envigo, its subsidiary.
“These dogs have lived their lives in a massive breeding facility riddled with Animal Welfare Act violations,” said Miguel Abi-hassan, chief animal rescue, care and sanctuary officer for the Humane Society of the United States. “We are so grateful for the opportunity to work with our shelter and rescue partners to give these beagles a new life.”
The Humane Society of the United States animal rescue team is highly trained and typically gets called in to assist with rescue operations when the scope of animal needs exceed what local law enforcement or animal services has the capacity or resources to handle. Resources the HSUS can offer in these situations include legal assistance, temporary sheltering, on-scene assistance with evidence collection and animal handling, animal transportation and assistance with placement through our network of shelter and rescue partners—all at no cost to the community requesting help.
The HSUS shelter and rescue partner program is a network of more than 350 organizations committed to serving as a safety net for pets and mentors for overwhelmed shelters. A list of partners accepting animals into their adoption program is below. All interested adopters will need to work with the local placement groups and follow their required application processes.
How Can You Help?
DONATE This is a historic operation, HSUS’ largest ever! Please rush an urgent gift to help save these dogs and give more animals a better life.
ADOPT OR FOSTER The Humane Society of the United States does not adopt animals directly to the public. Their shelter and rescue partners will be placing all of the dogs into foster and adoptive homes. Please check the list of partners that have agreed to take in dogs and reach out to them directly for more information. We will be adding groups to this list as it grows.
Please note that while some dogs may travel to the West Coast, the majority will be placed with East Coast and Midwest partners.
about the author
Brandie Ahlgren is founder and editor of CityDog Magazine. She, and her team of dog-loving editors, dig up the best places for you to sit, stay and play with your four-legged friends. Brandie, 12-year-old boxer Thya and Mexican foster failure Pancho, reside in West Seattle and can often be found hanging out at Westcrest Dog Park.