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Rescued Beagle
Credit: Homeward Trails Animal Rescue

The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) is celebrating the removal of approximately 4,000 beagles from a research facility in Cumberland, Virginia, after a federal judge ordered that the dogs be freed from the facility and put up for adoption. 

CNN reports that a series of inspections of Envigo's breeding facility found hundreds of unexplained puppy deaths and more than 70 animal welfare violations, including unnecessarily painful medical experiments, such as euthanasia without sedatives. 

"These dogs have lived their lives in a massive breeding facility riddled with Animal Welfare Act violations," Miguel Abi-hassan, chief animal rescue, care and sanctuary officer for HSUS, said in a news release. "We are so grateful for the opportunity to work with our shelter and rescue partners to give these beagles a new life."

Inotiv, Envigo's parent company, announced the closure of the Cumberland facility shortly after the ruling. The dogs are currently in the process of being transferred to humane societies across the United States where they can be adopted into loving homes. 

Homeward Trails, a rescue organization based in Fairfax, plans to have 1,500 beagles available for adoption beginning the week of July 25. 

"This is one of the largest dog rescue efforts ever coordinated and has truly been a group effort," Sue Bell, executive director of Homeward Trails, told WUSA9. "To know that these dogs will get to have the lives they deserve and not languish in cages for the rest of their lives is just so rewarding."

In June, Homeward Trails removed nearly 500 dogs seized from Envigo and successfully placed them for adoption. They have once again partnered with HSUS to secure foster and adoptive homes for the dogs in the next sixty days. 

"For months now, we have witnessed first-hand the joy these dogs experience when their feet touch grass for the first time, they get a bone to chew on, and they experience love from a human being," Bell said.

To donate to their care as well and get more information on fostering and/or adopting one of the beagles, please visit humanesociety.org/4000beagles.

Please keep in mind that because those beagles have lived their entire life in a lab, they may require a bit more rehabilitation. These pups may not walk on a leash and will likely do best with other dogs.

We're wishing all 4,000 beagles full, happy lives and plenty of fresh grass.