The Fairfax County Animal Shelter is assisting in the massive rescue of more than 4,000 beagles from an Envigo breeding and research facility in Cumberland, Virginia. sick and generally abused.
The Fairfax County Animal Shelter plans to take in as many of these dogs as possible, to place them with the other 200 animals they currently care for.
“My hope with these dogs is the hope with every animal that comes into our facility, and it’s really just to give them the second chance they deserve,” said Reasa Currier, director of the Fairfax County Animal Shelter. “Many of the animals that come to our animal shelter end up here through no fault of their own. They really just need to be lucky enough to have the loving family they deserve.
These beagles are being sent to shelters, foster homes and rescues across the country after a federal judge approved a plan for their release, following requests from US authorities and law enforcement. Federal authorities had about 60 days after the judge’s July 5 order to relocate the animals.
“Our staff is incredibly adept at meeting needs like this. They are highly skilled, highly skilled professionals, so they have met the needs of having an influx of animals in the past,” Currier said. “We also have a whole network of foster families and trained volunteers, so we have the support of the community and that really allows us to be able to say yes to situations like this.”
The shelter currently has about 200 animals in its care, about a third of them in foster homes. Staff provide animals with medical care and behavioral support to help animals thrive at the shelter and with their new families. Animals can also stay at the shelter for as long as they need; the shelter does not euthanize to create space.
Summer is a busy time for the refuge, and the population is higher than it normally is. There are also many stray pets that the staff try to bring back to their families, but it can be very difficult. Currier stressed the importance of microchipping or putting collars on pets, including cats and other small animals.
One of the best ways to help the shelter is to adopt and spread the word so more people can connect with them. People are also encouraged to volunteer to be dog walkers, small animal helpers, or part of the clean team. Additionally, it is helpful to donate supplies or give money to the Friends of Fairfax County Animal Shelter, who provide funds for vital medical care for shelter pets.
The standard adoption process will apply to these beagles, and shelter staff and volunteers are happy to get to know individual dogs to place them with loving families. The shelter has same day adoption and an open adoption process which means they try to match based on the needs of the family and the pets as individuals.
“Even though all dogs are beagles, they are individuals. They are going to have their own personalities and their own specialized requirements and needs. So we’re really trying to make a match that’s good for the animal and good for the family,” Currier said. “We still have amazing pets here, and we’re just waiting for adopters to come through.”