Three beagles rescued from a closed breeding center in Virginia celebrated the new life that awaited them with a sweet party this week.
Cambridge, Sheffield and Wales are among thousands of beagles seeking new homes since Envigo’s Cumberland County facility – which bred dogs for use as pharmaceutical test subjects – closed after being cited for more than 70 animal welfare violations.
All three dogs are now in the care of the Helen Woodward Animal Center in San Diego County, California. The center held the party on Aug. 1, a date sometimes known as “DOGust,” or the unofficial birthday of shelter dogs whose true birthdays are unknown.
“These beagles lived for years inside a kennel,” HWAC animal care manager Jenny Bueche said in a press release. “No one has ever celebrated them or the beauty of their existence. We had to estimate their age based on dental work and exams. In many ways, these beagles represent exactly the kind of forgotten dogs that DOGust was created to honor. .
The party included gifts, toys and even a doggie birthday cake. The beagles were apparently not very interested in the cake, leaving more for another guest, a sheepdog and husky mix named Dante who was a real gun dog.
The non-profit organization took in 43 of the rescued beagles. Most of them are currently staying in temporary foster homes, not at the shelter itself, although the organization noted that some of them also celebrated DOGust with their host families.
Federal inspections reportedly revealed inhumane conditions at Envigo facilities, including unsanitary living spaces, overcrowding, and inadequate food and veterinary care. Vets have determined that 145 dogs initially seized from the breeding center were in “acute distress”. Last month, a federal judge approved a plan to close the facility and place about 4,000 dogs in animal rescue groups across the United States.
Helen Woodward Animal Center said hundreds of people have already expressed interest in beagles. The center is still accepting applications, although there are special requirements for prospective adopters, including living within 500 miles of the animal shelter and having “experience with beagles and/or worried dogs.” That said, the organization also has other dogs available for adoption.
And while the story of the rescued beagles has garnered national attention, many shelters across the country are overwhelmed with dogs, cats and, in some cases, even smaller animals. like guinea pigsas pet owners grapple with rising costs.
“If you’ve been waiting a while to bring an animal into your home, now is the time,” Philadelphia Animal Welfare Society spokesperson Allison Lamond told public radio station WHYY-FM earlier this summer. . “Not only are we struggling, but shelters across the region, across the country, are struggling.”
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