Breaking: Last beagle of thousands spared from testing arrives at our care center

By on September 2, 2022 with 53 Comments

It wasn’t long ago that I witnessed the first van full of beagles arrive at our care and rehabilitation center in Maryland. On July 21, I was on hand to help welcome these dogs into a new and beautiful chapter of their lives, and I had the honor of carrying the first beagle off the transport van. Then, members of our Animal Rescue Team went onto the van, one after the other, emerging again and again, each holding literal armfuls of young beagles. At that moment, the scale of this operation started to dawn on me and, I suspect, everyone else who was present. Each beagle represented a life spared from unthinkable suffering. Many of us were fighting back tears of gratitude that they would never have to experience life as subjects of animal testing.

Flash forward to now, just six weeks later, and our team has removed the last 312 of roughly 4,000 beagles from Envigo RMS LLC’s facility in Cumberland, Virginia, which was breeding the dogs to be sold to animal testing laboratories. As you know, the Humane Society of the United States was approached by the U.S. Department of Justice to remove the dogs after alleged violations of the Animal Welfare Act were found at the breeding facility, and we are elated that this week, with the help of more than 120 shelter and rescue partners, we have accomplished this massive feat.

I had the great privilege of being at our care and rehabilitation facility at the moment the last beagle, Fin, arrived. He is an older male used for breeding. Unlike the puppies who were jumping with excitement to great their new lives, Fin seemed weary and unsure. As I carried him, I tried to comfort him and assure him that his life from this moment forward would forever change. I kept checking on Fin, and I was relieved to see him starting to relax and explore his surroundings later in the day with the help of our team. When all the dogs were fed, cleaned, cared for and ready for bed, the team stepped back and took a moment to marvel at this unprecedented rescue of nearly 4,000 souls. I looked at the faces of our staff and volunteers who have been going non-stop for six weeks, and I tried not to tear up as I watched their exhaustion give way to relief and then joy.

The vast majority of the beagles have already been placed with local organizations in 29 states that have been working to pair them with the loving homes they so deserve. We’ve heard so many happy endings from shelter and rescue staff and the adoptive families who have welcomed these dogs into their hearts and homes, and we look forward to hearing thousands more. (One former breeding mother beagle has already had her fairy tale ending, now that she’s been adopted by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.)

Earlier this year, the HSUS was approached by the U.S. Department of Justice to remove approximately 4,000 beagles after alleged violations of the Animal Welfare Act at a breeding facility in Virginia. This week, the transfer was completed. Meredith Lee/The HSUS

Our Animal Rescue Team’s work to complete the transfer of these beagles is a milestone in a fight we’ve been waging for years. The irony of this breeding facility being cited for Animal Welfare Act violations is that regardless of how these animals were treated there, most of the dogs were ultimately destined for a life of pain, suffering and isolation. Most of them would have been sold just to spend their short lives in laboratories.

Many people don’t realize that an average of 60,000 dogs just like these are still used in animal laboratories each year. With the remarkable advances in technology that we as a society now enjoy in pretty much every other sphere of innovation, it’s unthinkable that a paradigm shift has not occurred on a larger scale for research laboratories, replacing outdated animal testing with modern non-animal approaches that not only spare dogs and other animals immense suffering, but also provide information more relevant to human biology. While we have worked for decades at the federal level on this issue, state legislatures are also playing a role to accelerate the shift away from animal testing. California recently passed legislation to prohibit the use of dogs for testing of certain products, such as pesticides and food additives. We are hopeful Gov. Gavin Newsom will soon sign this bill into law, the first of its kind in the U.S. Virginia also passed multiple laws addressing facilities that breed dogs for laboratories, the first to do so. But there is still much to do to end testing on dogs and other animals and replace them with modern technologies.

As honored as we are to have completed this historic transport, I hope this is the last time we are asked to empty a facility that profits from animal testing. 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.

Follow Kitty Block on Twitter @HSUSKittyBlock.

Animal Rescue and Care, Animal Research and Testing, Companion Animals

Subscribe to the Blog

Enter your email address below to receive updates each time we publish new content.


Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Alan Alejandro Maldonado Ortiz says:

    Cómo es posible que haya empresas que abusen de estos animalitos esto tiene que acabar no lo podemos permitir más tenemos que centrar la mirada en este tipo de acciones para que terminen y no pasen desapercibidas por favor

  2. Fran Felton says:

    My dad would love to adopt 2 of these beagles.

    • Karen Washburn says:

      I would love 2
      I live on 10 ackers on the river.
      We are building. A new home .They would be loved.
      They would go every where with. Us
      Ill be waiting here from you. We lived in Idaho

    • Maria Hopkins says:

      This animal testing needs to stop these babies dont deserve it no need to test on animals use natural ingredients these labs and breeders need to be shit done and prosecuted fined and jail time disgusting, thank you for rescuing these babies people are so cruel for a bu k sickening

  3. Anthony Root says:

    It has brighten my day to hear that the last of these Fur Baby’s have been removed from Envigo. I pray they all in up in a forever home and receive the Much Love & much Patience they deserve and need to recover from being in this Puppy Mill.
    I Pray all the other Puppy Mills get shut down and those Fur Baby’s also find their forever home also.

  4. Karen johnson says:

    Kitty block thank you for the wonderful rescue I have adopted one of the beagles he’s adjusting quite nicely he came from second chance in Eastbrook field mass he will get the best of homes this story broke my heart I have always been a big beagle lover and have had this bfeed about thirty years

    • Daisy Flores says:

      Is this true about what the previous person said, about all of the beagles being adopted? I just heard about them now and I was hopeful in adopting one of them. I live in the central Florida area: Orlando or Kissimmee.
      Where can they be located? If any.
      It would be a blessing for me. I lost my Bichon Frise
      2,1/2 months ago. Just hopeful. Please let me know.

      • Adrienne Zubiller says:

        There are so many pets in Florida that end up getting euthanized because no one comes to adopt them.

        Please look at Dade County shelter for your new pet, if all the beagles are adopted. Those pets would appreciate a living safe home.. .

        • Victoria says:

          I love all of these precious babies but this is what is wrong stop neutering please you have too find good homes that’s all ❤️

          • Ellen Swager says:

            What is wrong with neutering and spaying pets? It just takes the desire to mate away unless I don’t understand correctly. ALL of these measures are needed at once.

          • Kay says:

            Neutering is a humane way to control population. There are only so many people that can afford and have the room to care for a pet. It is a responsibility and an investment for approximately 10 years for dogs. I love my dogs, cats and horses and knew the responsibility that went with having them. I live in a rural area and have adopted a lot of abandoned tom cats. Left alone these cats die a slow death and the ones that do survive kill a lot of birds.

        • Tammy Gross says:

          This is goo to know I am also in Central Florida….the beagle pups are precious. I will check out shelter in Dade… thanks

      • Laurie D says:

        Daisy Flores – you can click the link for participating partners and it will show all of the locations across the country that have taken them. You would need to reach out to the individual shelter in your area.

  5. Stacy Goulder says:

    I have contacted my local Humane Society in regards to adopting one of the beagles rescued. I was told they have all been adopted. If so Great!! But could you verify this?

  6. Debra Edwards says:

    I too, rescued a mom & 3 of her 6 babies that we absolutely adore here on our farm. All 4 have been spayed & neutered.

  7. Bobbie Young says:

    I live in the Houston Texas area and have a 10 month old beagle boy named Jesse. I would really, really love to adopt one of these sweet babies. Have any of these pups been transported to my area?

  8. Barry Fuhrman says:

    Any in Florida

  9. Karin erker says:

    Danke für die wunderbare Arbeit ♥️🐶🐶💕Karin erker

  10. patsy hunt says:

    I have made application for a female beagle through Tulsa shelter and have not heard anything. We have a beagle now 10months old and want one of the rescued beagles. Can you help me? We are in Dallas and Texas didn’t get any of the 4000.

    • Adrienne Zubiller says:

      That’s because Texas has so many animals that are euthanized daily.

      Please check with your local shelter. Those animals would love help and a safe loving home too!

  11. Marian Hickman says:

    I would love to adopt 2 of these little adorable adult dogs. How do we find where in North Carolina that we can make this happen?

  12. Edith Shuster says:

    How do you go about adopting one of these dogs you say you’ve got them all but I’ve never seen anywhere where anybody was able to adopt it and I will give you my name and email address

  13. Nicki Bienvenu says:

    I am so happy that the beagles are happy and safe. Thank you for all you’ve done to save them.

  14. Joyce says:

    I’d love to adopt a Beagle

  15. Susan says:

    I would check with other rescues. It’s possible that the one you contacted did place all the ones they received. Even if you don’t find one of these pups beagles are ione of the most rescued dogs available. They are all over. Try midwest brew but there are a ton of beagle rescues out there.

  16. R. Huston says:

    We would love to adopt one of the beagles. We have experience with hounds and have a small female half beagle. Can you please share information about adoption?

    • Gwen says:

      I have some adorable hound puppies that I am fostering in Boise, Idaho that needs homes. You should be able to find them on lake Lowell animal rescue. There are all sorts of hounds in shelters throughout the United States that needs homes.

  17. Jennifer Lowery says:

    It so hard to adopt these beagles. I have spent lots of time and contacted numerous shelters. Wish there was a better system in place. I guess it’s good they are getting adopted but shocked at how hard it is to get one. We lost our beagle in May and have always wanted to adopt one from testing.

    • RUSSELL BALLOG says:

      I agree with you 100%. I live in Chicago and I am heartfelt for these beagles but there’s no direction on how to really adopt the beagles.

  18. Bruce Hough says:

    Thank you for your efforts with these pups. I am glad you mentioned there are 60000 still in testing programs. Support the Beagle Rescue project in getting them out. Also, Envigo was the 2nd or 3rd size breeder of Beagles in USA. The big guy has 4 or 5 times the number of dogs that Envigo had. The bottom line is we need to eliminate the need for large mammal testing. There are much newer and modern assays and computer simulations that can eliminate the need for testing

  19. Jamie Jones says:

    I would love to adopt one

  20. Susan Callahan says:

    I would love to adopt one of these sweet babies, the baby will find so much love and care in there safe forever home. Please where do I go to adopt?

  21. kelly crawford says:

    This says 5000
    And I only hear 4000
    I can’t believe this went on for so many years. I can’t believe Not One person stood up for these dogs years ago. Where is the other 1000

  22. Tom Brotherton says:

    I would love to have one of the Beagle pups if possible. We live in Tennessee.

  23. Nickie says:

    AMEN 😇

  24. Joan Shaughnessy says:

    So many people looking for a dog to love. . I am dismayed to hear that the Duke and Dutchess got one of these. They are never home, do not even take care of their own children, and now are given a puppy who they won’t have time for. I guess it still goes that the rich and famous get chosen instead of one who would truly love it. This makes me very sad.

  25. John Thompson says:

    How can I adopt one of these puppies?

  26. Carolyn Disser says:

    Thank you for all the rescue efforts!❤️ I have entered information to adopt several times but have not received reply. I also phoned Louisville shelter and heard message that the beagles are undergoing health tests.

  27. Carrie collins says:

    Does the last beagle pup need a loving home if so we love to give it a home in side our house

  28. Donna says:

    I think it’s wonderful the work that all of the rescues are doing to save these poor Beagles lives
    I had a bagel little girl got us a puppy and she died at 7 1/2 years by my bedside because the vet didn’t know how and what was going on with her tried to help her and she passed away so definitely a wonderful thing that you did with it with the 4000 Beagles !!

  29. Cheryl White says:

    How can I either adopt or foster one of these beagle puppies? I live in Maryland, but don’t see any of these beagles listed at either of the two partner facilities in my state.

  30. Regina in Florida says:

    I just sent a large donation for your wonderful undertaking, knowing donations are vital. We have a rescued beautiful foxhound who we love so much. Bless your organization for saving these babes!

  31. Venise says:

    Is it true that this facility is still in operation?

  32. Ellen Swager says:

    While we’re at it, let’s STOP using any living souls from all areas, such as biology class where the kids are too young to understand it anyway.
    Also, let’s STOP saving some species, such as alligators, which are hatched just to be future luggage!

  33. Carol and Jim Sikes says:

    I am looking for a playmate for our 8month old Maltese. I have always loved Beagles and would love to Adopt one of the 4000 rescues. A puppy would be wonderful to grow up with our current puppy but an older dog that is good with pups would be fine too. We want to help and we love love Beagles.

  34. Sue Secrete says:

    So thankful to those who removed these beagles. However, that number is much higher than 4000. Many of these females were pregnant. I was fortunate enough to get a puppy from one of the Envigo survivors. I lost my 2 beagles, 13 and 14 over the past year. It warms my heart that Finnigan will never go through this terrible ordeal and will have a wonderful, loving home. I think he was sent to me from my boys, Bandit & Ike, in heaven.

  35. Ann Sabatine says:

    I have followed this since they started the rescue. I’m in Cols Ohio area and asked where they are in my area and no response and donated from beginning too.
    I checked at the Humane society here and at first no response then notice got few but are gone! I’m happy for them but sad I could get one to love and give happy home. I lost my Puggle Maggie April this year @ 16 yrs 5 mos.
    I grieve daily. Maggie was my life..I need another precious pup to love and give me happiness in return!

  36. Princess says:

    Thank ya’ll for all you guys do! God is very proud. God is probably smiling from heaven. You guys are amazing! keep it up!

Share a Comment

The HSUS encourages open discussion, and we invite you to share your opinion on our issues. By participating on this page, you are agreeing to our commenting policy.
Please enter your name and email address below before commenting. Your email address will not be published.