About 4,000 Beagles Being Rescued from Virginia Research Facility

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Source: pxhere.com

The Humane Society of the United States and the US Justice Department are working to remove approximately 4,000 beagles from the Envigo research facility in Cumberland, Virginia, after the company’s licensed breeding and research facilities were cited for 73 violations of the Animal Welfare Act over four inspections in nine months from July 2021 to Mar. 2022. 35 of the violations were “direct” or “critical.” [1] [2]

Senators Mark Warner (D-VA) and Tim Kaine (D-VA) reported that the facility “performed unnecessarily painful medical procedures on dogs and puppies,” including euthanizing 196 dogs, many without anesthetic. The inspections revealed that, among other violations, “puppies and dogs were held in shelters with temperatures exceeding 85 degrees Fahrenheit for more than five hours, and that research conducted at the facility caused distress to nursing mothers and their puppies after food was intentionally withheld for 48 hours… [and] that housing violations led to the injury of dozens of dogs, including 71 who were injured when a body part was pulled through the wall of the kennel by a dog in an adjacent kennel, and 50 who were injured or killed due to incompatible groupings.” [2]

Homeward Trails Animal Rescue in Virginia already rescued 446 “surplus” beagles from the facility in Mar. 2022 because the facility could not care for them during the COVID-19 pandemic. [1] [3] [4]

Rescue organizations have about two months to transport and rehome all of the dogs to rescue facilities or foster homes. Nursing mothers and puppies are being removed first and staying close to the Virginia facility, while other adult dogs are traveling as far as California and Wyoming rescues. [1] [3] [4]

Virginia State Senator Bill Stanley (R) earned the nickname “Senator Beagle” for his involvement in rescuing the beagles, including adopting two of his own, Daisy and Dixie. Stanley stated that the beagles should all be removed from the facility by Sep. 2022, with some already in permanent homes by then. [3]

Discussion Questions

1. Should animals be used for medical testing? Explain your answer(s).

2. Should animals be used for cosmetics testing? Explain your answer(s).

3. Should students dissect animals in science classrooms? Explain your answer(s).


1. Jaclyn Diaz, “Animal Rescue Groups across the U.S. Band Together to Rescue 4,000 Beagles,” npr.org, July 14, 2022

2. Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine, “Warner & Kaine Demand Immediate Action in Light of “Continued, Horrific Mistreatment” of Dogs and Puppies at Va. Facility,” warner.senate.gov, Mar. 31, 2022

3. Jesus Jiménez and April Rubin, “4,000 Beagles Are Being Rescued from a Virginia Facility. Now They Need New Homes.,” nytimes.com, July 12, 2022

4. Chuck Johnston, “4,000 Beagles Will Be Rescued from a Virginia Breeding Facility,” kcra.com, July 13, 2022