RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Around 90 beagles arrived at the Richmond SPCA on Friday, August 5, from the soon-to-be shuttered dog breeding facility run by Envigo in Cumberland County.
Volunteers and activists from several organizations, including People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and Homes Fur Hounds, were present at the SPCA to meet the dogs and take their share of the dogs and puppies to help in the adoption efforts.
Approximately ten beagles will stay at the SPCA. Homes Fur Hounds told 8News they planned to receive around 30 beagles while other organizations will take the rest.
On July 5, a federal judge approved the transfer plan for the approximately 4,000 beagles at the Envigo facility. The court ordered that the dogs be removed and the facility shut down within 60 days of the judge’s approval.
“That plan gives those parties a total of 60 days from its approval, which was yesterday, to expeditiously, safely, humanely remove every single last dog and puppy from that facility, and the Humane Society of the United States [HSUS] is the sole party that’s going to manage that transfer,” PETA Vice President of Evidence Analysis Dan Paden told 8News shortly after the court’s decision. “HSUS is then apparently going to transfer those animals to animal shelters and rescues over the ensuing months, as much as possible on the East Coast and in the Midwest, I think, to minimize the amount of time those animals have to be transported.”
While many of the beagles are expected to stay in Central Virginia, the organizations at the SPCA on Friday said most won’t be available for adoption for a while. The dogs will have to learn how to be pets, undergo much-needed medical care and be spayed or neutered, according to representatives from the organizations facilitating adoptions.
“They’ve been in runs, have been bred, have been fed — and that’s about it. No socialization. Very little touch. Very little medical attention. Now they’re gonna be on people’s laps, learn what a leash is and learn to be cared for,” said Bob Tubbs, an animal-rights advocate and founder of the Virginia Animal Protection Federation.
“They’re going to be evaluated because they’re all going into foster homes. Each of these dogs is going to be spending the night in a home for the first time in their lives. Imagine that. Tonight’s their first night in heaven,” Tubbs said.