FAIRFAX, Va. — Editor's note: The video above originally aired on July 6, when a deal was struck to place thousands of dogs rescued from a breeding facility up for adoption.
Thousands of beagles that were found at a breeding and research facility allegedly mistreating its animals are one paw closer to finding a new home. Homeward Trails, a rescue organization based in Fairfax, plans to have 1,500 beagles available for adoption beginning the week of July 25.
WUSA9 first reported on the allegations against the Envigo breeding and research facility in Cumberland, Virginia on April 1. The company is contracted to breed dogs for the purpose of research and scientific experiments - regulated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Federal investigators claim the facility performed unnecessarily painful medical experiments on dogs and puppies, including euthanasia without sedatives.
A senior U.S. District Court Judge Norman K. Moon requested in early July that 4,000 beagles be removed from Envigo and put up for adoption. According to court documents, Moon required Envigo to pay $100 per dog, and $150 per dog nursing a litter younger than 8 weeks, to help defray the costs to the shelters preparing the dogs for adoption.
"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, said. "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."
Homeward Trails partnered with the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) to remove the Beagles and secure foster and adoptive homes for them in the next sixty days. They previously moved 500 dogs and successfully placed them for adoption.
"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.
HSUS said it plans to host an active website featuring various groups that plan to take these Beagles by geography. To apply to adopt a Beagle in the D.C. region, send an email to Homeward Trails.
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