Beagle puppies from neglectful Virginia breeding facility on their way to new homes

CUMBERLAND, Va. (WRIC) – 150 dogs from the struggling Envigo breeding and research facility in Cumberland are on the verge of finding forever homes, thanks to the efforts of a state senator, a group animal rescue and ranch in Wyoming.

State Senator Bill Stanley announced in November that he was working on an effort to adopt at least 400 beagles from Envigo. The coordination took a little longer than expected, but on Friday the first wave of adoptions began.

Sue Bell, Founder and Executive Director of Animal rescue on the back trails told 8News: “We successfully transferred 150 perfectly adorable beagles on Friday.”

She said the dogs arrived in Richmond on Friday and were loaded into professional animal transport vehicles to begin their journey to the Kindness Ranch Animal Sanctuary in Wyoming. The sanctuary is a home for former research and laboratory dogs. The dogs will temporarily stay at the ranch until they are all adopted.

“This particular group has a fantastic track record of fostering such dogs and finding them forever homes very quickly,” Bell said.

Virginia Senator Bill Stanley launched the adoption plan after Envigo was cited for multiple animal welfare violations, including filthy living conditions and animals left sick and untreated. The senator has since adopted two Envigo beagles.

Envigo says covid has left them with too many dogs and too few staff to care for the animals.

“Envigo is working with Virginia lawmakers on ways to continue to provide appropriate oversight to our dog breeding facility in Cumberland County, including expanding pet adoption options. We are excited about our partnership with Homeward Trails and greatly appreciate the service they provide.

Envigo Official Statement

In the coming weeks, smaller groups of approximately 20-30 Envigo beagles will leave Cumberland and be placed in shelters around Virginia and along the East Coast.

“I have to say that with very few exceptions, the dogs we encountered on Friday were incredibly friendly, playful, very social – that’s a beagle for you,” Bell said. While Homeward Trails can’t handle an abundance of calls, you can check their Facebook page for updates likely to begin next week.

“We absolutely hope our fellow Virginians can adopt these amazing dogs,” she said.

Bell says it hopes this partnership between a non-profit organization and Envigo can serve as a model for other companies in the sector. They hope to adopt a total of around 400 dogs over the next few weeks.

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