Around 4,000 beagles have been saved from animal testing, thanks to the Humane Society of the US (HSUS).
The animal welfare organization recently responded to a call from the US Department of Justice. It was asking for help with removing thousands of dogs from a breeding facility in Virginia. The facility, owned by research organization Envigo, was supplying animals to laboratories for testing.
The dogs were discovered earlier this year in overcrowded, “shocking” conditions.
HSUS reports that some nursing mothers were denied food, several puppies had died from the cold, and food was maggot-infested. Some animals were killed instead of being taken to the vet for simple treatments.
Earlier in July, after inspection reports exposed the facility, a judge ordered that the remaining 4,000 dogs be released.
A ‘feat of epic proportions’
HSUS is being supported by rescue organizations across the US as it attempts to find a new home for all of the animals.
John Ramer of Wyoming’s Kindness Ranch Animal Sanctuary told NPR that the rescue was “daunting.”
He added: “When I carry one dog out of a facility, I can tap it on the head and give it a hug and tell him that everything’s gonna be OK. But pulling 4,000 out … it’s an inconceivable number of dogs.”
HSUS notes that it is already difficult to find homes for dogs in the middle of summer. Shelters are usually over capacity. A blog post written by Sara Amundson, the president of the nonprofit’s legislative fund, states that the rescue will be a “feat of epic proportions.”
“We are ready to take on the challenge,” writes Amundson. “And we are grateful to our rescue and shelter partners network of local rescue groups and shelters in communities throughout the country—whose dedicated efforts will make it possible for these dogs to find loving homes.”
HSUS is currently campaigning for the FDA to end animal testing for good. You can get involved with its mission here.