ORLANDO, Fla. - Fifteen of the 4,000 beagles rescued from a Virginia research facility in July are now in Orlando and will be looking for their forever homes.
Staff with the Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando traveled to Virginia over the weekend and brought back several beagles that were removed from Envigo, a medical contract breeding facility in Cumberland, Virginia that has been accused of having unfit conditions.
"Upon arriving at Pet Alliance, the dogs received their initial doses of preventative care and were tested for heartworms," the shelter wrote. "The unique personality of each dog was apparent as the staff weighed, fed and examined them. A blend of sweetness, curiosity and nervousness was a common theme for all 15 beagles."
The dogs are not available for adoption yet and "will need time and patience as they adjust to life outside a facility."
Credit: Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando
Envigo’s facility – which bred dogs to be sold to laboratories for animal experimentation – was taken to court in 2021 after the USDA and other law enforcement agencies found multiple federal violations. A lawsuit was filed in May by the Department of Justice after repeated federal inspections resulted in dozens of violations, including findings that dogs had received inadequate veterinary care and insufficient food, and that they were living in unsanitary conditions.
In a filed complaint with the U.S. District Court in the Western District of Virginia, adult and puppy beagles were said to be underfed, injured and sick. The dogs were reportedly kept in small spaces where feces piled up.
The complaint also alleged the dogs were subject to painful medical science experiments. Court records stated that more than 300 puppies died at the facility between January and July of last year.
If you'd like to donate to the care of the beagles in Orlando, visit the Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando website.