At least 50 beagles -- several of them pregnant -- are being brought to Massachusetts as part of a massive, multi-state undertaking to rescue around 4,000 of the dogs from a breeding facility in Virginia, according to MSPCA-Angell.
The Virginia breeding facility, called Envigo, was shut down in early July after it was discovered the dogs were living in "confused, unsanitary, and inhumane conditions."
MSPCA-Angell and Northeast Animal Shelter (NEAS) in Salem, working with the Humane Society of the United States, are bringing at least 50 of these dogs to Massachusetts to find them homes. As many as eight of the dogs are pregnant, rescue officials said, so they expect to have adult dogs as well as puppies eventually available for adoption. Some of the dogs may be available as early as next week.
“It’s not easy to find the resources and space needed to care for such a large number of dogs, but our mission is to protect animals and relieve their suffering," MSPCA-Angell Director of Adoption Centers and Programs Mike Keiley said. "We’re focusing on bringing the Beagles to Massachusetts, getting them any medical treatment they need, and finding them the loving homes they deserve."
Get Boston local news, weather forecasts, lifestyle and entertainment stories to your inbox. Sign up for NBC Boston’s newsletters.
Beagles are commonly used in research labs due to their size and docile nature, which makes them easy to handle, animal rights organizations say. This rescue operation comes at a time Massachusetts lawmakers are considering a bill that would mandate that beagles used for research in the state would be made available for adoption after the lab work is complete.
Anyone interested in adopting one of the incoming beagles can learn more at neas.org/adopt or mspca.org/adopt. Those interested in donating to their care can do so at mspca.org/beagles.