Nearly 4,000 beagles are being rehomed following one of the largest canine rescue operations in US history. “Four thousand is a big number,” said Humane Society head Kitty Block. “And it’s going to take 60 days to get all of these animals out, and working with our shelter and rescue partners across the country, working with them to get these dogs eventually into ever-loving homes.” The canines have already found new homes in various parts of the US, with 200 of them going to southern California. Bill Stanley, a Virginia state senator, told a news outlet that the rescue was the outcome of a long battle. “I bought two of those Envigo beagles back in 2020 and 2021… Those beagles I bought because I did not want them to be experimented on. And now I know that their brothers and sisters are not going to be experimented on either.”

The dogs were being bred in Virginia by a company that later sold them to labs conducting drug tests. However, the business has since been shut down due to violations of animal laws, and charities are working to find new homes for the dogs. The US Department of Justice filed a lawsuit in May against the breeding facility in Cumberland, accusing it of several instances of animal abuse. Inspectors discovered that some dogs were being put to death for illnesses that were easily treatable rather than receiving veterinary care. The beagles are currently undergoing medical evaluations and vaccines before being made available for adoption.