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Former research beagles find rescue with Virginia agencies

Posted on Friday, August 05, 2022

Today the Richmond SPCA served as a hub for the transport of 90 beagles rescued from the Cumberland breeding facility operated by Envigo. Sheltering and rescue organizations from Northern Virginia to Hampton Roads gathered at our humane center to await the arrival of dogs whose change of fortune has been well publicized.

Beagles arrive at the Richmond SPCA Friday, August 5. Homeward Trails Animal Rescue transported beagles from Envigo destined for three other agencies and their own Fairfax adoption center.

The Department of Justice secured a consent decree in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Virginia last month, formalizing a plan for Envigo to close its USDA licensed facility in Cumberland that breeds dogs for sale to laboratory research and relinquish all remaining dogs to The Humane Society of the United States over a period of 60 days. The company’s facility housed 4,000 dogs in July, and the work to move them into the care of organizations capable of preparing each dog for placement in a loving home is a large, collaborative effort across many organizations in multiple states.

Partners in rescue

“Knowing these 90 dogs, and nearly 4,000 others, will enjoy lives filled with love and comfort rather than research and experimentation is very rewarding” said Richmond SPCA CEO Tamsen Kingry said. “We are proud to partner with our friends at HSUS and Homeward Trails to bring these beagles to safety and to find them lasting homes in our community.”

Here at the Richmond SPCA, we have set aside space to house 10 former research beagles at a time so that we can work with the HSUS on this response without disrupting our ongoing commitments to transfer pets from municipal shelters in Virginia. The dogs who arrived today are settling into their kennels in pairs and exploring their first ever beds. They have now been examined by Associate Veterinarian Dr. David Molinas, who will oversee treatment of any medical needs before they are ready for adoption.

New name, new life

Dr. Molinas performs a physical examination on a newly rescued beagle.

Each dog has only been identified, until now, by a number. Her number will remain with her. The facility tattooed it inside her ear. But now she also has a name. That is the first step toward her new life.

Considering how dramatically rescue has altered the course of their lives, it is reflected in the names chosen for them by Jenn Walters, our coordinator of surrenders, who said, “The names either mean saved, rescue, renew or new life in French, Spanish, German or Swahili.”

We look forward to sharing more about the progress toward adoption as we work with Rescate, Salvado, Enregistre, Garettet, Sauvetage, Redding, Nova Vida, Renovar, Upya and Eme in the weeks ahead.

Looking forward to adoption

This icon on a dog’s adoption photo indicates he or she is a former research beagle.

Interested adopters are encouraged to use the Match Finder tool on our website to sign up for alerts but also to consider the many beagles and other hounds awaiting homes in our shelter and others across the region. 

Tabitha Treloar and Roux (dog)
Tabitha and Roux

Tabitha Treloar joined the Richmond SPCA in 2005 as an admissions counselor and has been our director of communications since 2010. She and her husband live in Richmond with four Richmond SPCA alumni – two cats and two dogs.

Related post: Gov. Youngkin signs five “beagle bills” into law

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