4,000 Reasons to Smile!
It is not every day that the best possible outcome prevails, but that is exactly what is unfolding in Virginia right now as a band of organizations are working together to liberate and re-home 4,000 beagles who were bred for a life of pain and suffering in laboratories.
This monumental effort came about after Envigo, a breeding mill that sells animals for pharmaceutical research and testing, was found to be keeping its animals in horrendous conditions. Records from federal inspections revealed that from January 1 to July 22, 2021, more than 300 beagle puppies had died from “unknown causes” that the facility never investigated.
Other findings included dogs with their feet trapped in flooring, buildings housing dogs that did not have air conditioning when indoor temperatures were recorded in the high 80s and low 90s, and discovering that the facility “performed unnecessarily painful medical procedures on dogs and puppies—including euthanasia without a sedative.”
After the media brought to light the atrocious conditions, outrage was swift and definitive. Thanks to immense public pressure—including advocacy from NAVS supporters—this year lawmakers in Virginia passed five laws to increase regulations and requirements for breeding facilities that sell animals for testing. Inotiv, the parent company of Envigo, subsequently announced that they would be shuttering the facility. A federal judge has since approved a plan to remove all animals from Envigo within 60 days–and that is where the work begins to rehome 4,000 beagles.
Luckily for the beagles, a lot of people are invested in making sure they get to enjoy the life every dog deserves. Organizations from Virginia to California are lining up to help get the animals out of Envigo and into loving homes. For our part, NAVS is now reaching out to rescues that have agreed to take in some of the beagles and offering funding through our sanctuary assistance program. Together the animal welfare community and our supporters will ensure that these beagles get to bay and bark to their hearts’ content as loved companion animals.
Image: "The Colors of Freedom" by Luisa Méndez Rivera