RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — It’s been just over a month since the last of 4,000 beagles were rescued from Envigo’s Cumberland County facility, where dogs were bred and sold for experimental purposes.

In July, a federal judge approved a plan to have Envigo pay $100 per dog — and more for nursing puppies — to shelters and rescues that were taking in and adopting out the beagles. This came after the Cumberland County facility announced its closure following undercover investigations and animal welfare violations. So, where did that money end up?

According to the Humane Society of the United States, the court-approved transfer plan provided for compensation from Envigo to the Humane Society, which then, in turn, distributed those funds to approximately 120 placement partners. A spokesperson told 8News that the shelters and rescues were instructed to submit an invoice to the Humane Society for the payments for the animals they brought into their programs, as well as the transportation and lodging costs and certain veterinary expenses, for which HSUS also reimbursed organizations.

“Part of the consent decree included payment per dog that would go to the Humane Society of the United States, and then be distributed to each receiving partner agency, based on the number of dogs that they took in,” Richmond SPCA Director of Communications Tabitha Treloar said. “We received a grant of about $3,000, which covers the basics that we provided — the vaccinations, the spay and neuter, the dental care that had not been performed for these dogs until after their rescue.”

The Richmond SPCA took in about 30 Envigo beagles, all of which have since been adopted out. Claudia Chaten was one of those adopters.

“Last year, we had lost a beagle that was 17 years old that we had adopted from the SPCA, and I just missed that beagle face,” she said. “They brought Nellie in, and she was not this dog. She was very shy and she was petrified.”

Nellie is Chaten’s 15-month-old Envigo beagle, who she said has made incredible strides just in a matter of weeks.

Nellie, one of the beagles who was adopted after being rescued from the Envigo facility. Credit: Olivia Jaquith.

“She was really scared of us, and she would hide behind the bushes,” Chaten said. “Every day is just getting better and better. She’s not scared. She’s just a member of the family now.”

Nellie has been taking manners classes with other Envigo beagles at the Richmond SPCA, which Treloar said has helped socialize the dogs.

“They had really never been out of the kennels where they were housed with so many other dogs, but had very limited human interaction,” she said. “Now that they’re in homes and working with their adopters, having that class dedicated to helping those adopters overcome their challenges is just one of the ways that we’re continuing to support them.”

Richmond Animal Care and Control also took in and adopted out a total of 87 Envigo beagles over the course of two transfers.

Our building is already completely full,” Richmond Animal Care and Control Director Christie Chipps-Peters said. “As far as our city funds, they’re all being exhausted, and so for us to be able to help above and beyond that, we can only do it because we have our foundation money.”

Chipps-Peters said that Richmond Animal Care and Control was able to assist with rehoming the Envigo beagles because of the support of its foundation and foster care network. She told 8News that the Humane Society’s greatest need was for mothers and puppies, which went directly to Richmond Animal Care and Control’s fosters, instead of taking up much-needed space in the shelter.

“When someone makes a donation to our foundation, it goes directly to animal care, and so we’re so wonderfully grateful that we have that money because we don’t have to think twice,” Chipps-Peters said. “We say to them, ‘Please use the funding for shelters that don’t have the financial support that we have,’ and so the funding that would’ve been for our 87 beagles — which is a lot, per diem — can be given to another shelter in need.”

As such, RACC did not accept its allotted payment from the Humane Society for the Envigo beagles. Instead, the agency asked that funding be used to support other shelters that may not have otherwise been able to afford to care and find forever homes for the dogs.

RACC’s foundation was also able to support medical care for the seven beagles that came in with canine parvovirus, a gastrointestinal disease is expensive to treat, and can be fatal if gone unaddressed.

But even with the now-shuttered Cumberland County facility and the adoptions of Envigo beagles, Treloar and Chipps-Peters agreed there is always more work to be done.

“I think that the public was largely unaware of the role of dogs and cats and other companion animals in medical research, and that the sunlight that has come as a result of this case, hopefully, will keep public attention on research issues,” Treloar said. “That is not the end of research and beagles, particularly, being bred for laboratories, and I really encourage people who are interested in this topic and whose hearts have been captured by these 4,000 beagles to continue to be attentive to laboratory research and particularly to the products that you’re buying.”

Any organizations that have questions about the reimbursement process or are waiting on the Envigo payments are instructed to contact the Humane Society and submit an invoice.