25 Beagles Rescued From Virginia Pharmaceutical Company


WEST MICHIGAN — Twenty-five beagles came to a better life in West Michigan on Wednesday after a pharmaceutical testing facility in Virginia closed.

The United States Department of Agriculture found 39 welfare violations at Envigo RMS, LLC in Cumberland, Virginia. Additionally, court documents show that the company only had 17 employees to care for more than 5,000 dogs.

Susan Seward with the Virginia Veterinary Medical Association said: “It’s woefully insufficient and that’s why we ended up with 300 dead puppies.”

The facility then closed and left 4,000 beagles in need of homes. Destination shelters across the United States traveled to Virginia with the West Michigan Humane Society bringing back 25 dogs.

“What we see is that they are not necessarily used to being what we would say a dog [is]said Amy Stockero, director of marketing and development. “They don’t know how to use the bathroom. They can’t walk on a leash. They don’t understand doors… They’ll have to learn.

Stockero said the dogs are used to being in cages and around other puppies. The Humane Society’s goal is to have dogs adopted or placed in foster care as soon as they are ready to socialize with people. Perspective dog owners will need to be especially patient with these beagles. They’ll need to help dogs “establish that humans are going to be positive interactions,” Stockero said.

The rescue of the beagles comes as the country’s humanitarian societies struggle with overcapacity. The West Michigan Humane Society has nearly 400 animals currently in its care. “Animals don’t necessarily move through shelters that quickly,” Stockero said. “We’ve seen that when people work from home, they take advantage of that opportunity to bring animals home.”

To help support beagles or for adoption inquiries, visit Humane Society of West Michigan website.

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