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Freedom For 3,776 Beagles

In the Spring of 2022, Envigo, a massive breeding facility, located in Cumberland, Virginia, made national news when they were sited for over 70 violations and ordered to relinquish nearly 4,000 Beagles.

In May 2022, the US Department of Justice filed a lawsuit against Envigo, alleging that the company was failing to provide the dogs with humane care as required by the Animal Welfare Act.

Kitty Block, President and CEO of The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), described the situation in her blog, A Humane World: “Government inspectors found that Beagles the were being killed instead of receiving veterinary treatment for easily treated conditions; nursing dogs were denied food; the food that they did receive contained maggots, mold and feces; and over an 8 week period, 25 beagle puppies died from cold exposure.”


Had these dogs not been removed, many of them would have faced an even crueler fate, as they were destined for laboratories nationwide. Breeding facilities like Envigo sell dogs and other animals to research labs, where they endure a lifetime of pain and suffering as experimentation subjects to test drugs, medical devices, pesticides and poisons. They are typically euthanized afterward.

Information gathered from animal testing has demonstrated time and again to be highly inaccurate and misleading. In fact, somewhere around 90% of drugs tested on animals fail in human trials, approximately half due to unexpected toxicity in humans,” explains Kathleen Conlee, HSUS Vice President of Animal Research Issues. “Non-animal approaches are proving to be more accurate, reliable and often provide faster results, which means safer products for humans, who are relying on lifesaving treatments. Animal testing will never improve while non-animal technologies will only continue to do so—the sky is the limit.”



As a result of the DOJ’s lawsuit, Envigo agreed to close the facility and surrender the Beagles. That meant a huge number of dogs needed homes.

The DOJ asked the HSUS, with their network of nearly 400 shelter and rescue partners throughout the country, to lead the effort, as they had both the expertise and the resources to efficiently facilitate the transfer. Hundreds of local shelters and rescues reached out to take in the Beagles, assist with their transportation or offered volunteers to help with the effort.

The HSUS team set an ambitious 60 day time frame in which to remove all the dogs. “The reason it was so short is because the dogs were suffering. There was an emotional urgency to moving them,” explained Lindsay Hamrick, HSUS Director of Shelter Outreach and Engagement.


More than 120 partner groups wound up welcoming the dogs into their adoption programs. Some partners transported dogs directly from the facility to their shelters. Other dogs went to rehabilitation centers before being dispersed to 29 states. Thanks to local and national news coverage, thousands of foster families and adopters were eager to welcome a Beagle (or two) into their homes.


On September 1, 2022, the final pup (a 2 year old, they named Fin, French for “end”) was removed just two days shy of the 60 day mark.

This year we celebrate freedom for 3,776 Beagles.

The victory is bittersweet; they are the lucky ones;

on average over 60,000 dogs are used in experiments every year in the United States, along with millions of other animals.

Why is this legal?

Where’s the outrage?

Be a voice for the voiceless Y



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