RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — After months of anticipation about what would happen with beagles who were mistreated at an Envigo dog breeding facility, the majority are now being taken into new homes.
About 4,000 beagles were rescued after years of 8News’ investigative reports into Envigo’s Cumberland County facility where they were bred and sold for experimental reasons.
Christie Chipps Peters, the director of Richmond Animal Care and Control (RACC), said that they receive the beagles in small batches before letting the public know they are up for adoption. RACC has been working with the Humane Society of the United States to get the dogs adopted.
These beagles have a special adoption process, as opposed to other dogs available to adopt. Peters said that each beagle is specifically placed in the home where they will fit in the best, even though a lot of people are interested.
The enthusiasm surrounding these specific dogs has led to many actively seeking to adopt one of these renowned beagles — according to RACC, the first five beagles that were made available for adoption were all adopted on Friday, the same day they were made available. But adopting one of these dogs is something Peters cautions is a big commitment and a decision that should not be made lightly.
“A beagle is not for everyone,” Peters said. “I think sometimes people get caught up in ‘Oh my gosh, they’re so cute,’ but they are notoriously loud, notoriously stubborn, they’re not super great listeners.”
According to RACC, there are notable behavioral differences between the adult beagles and the puppies. The adults are not house-broken, meaning they’ve never used the bathroom outside, while the puppies are used to going outside when they need to go to the bathroom.
“It’s hard to house-break, so I think people need to be cognizant of the time it’s going to take,” Peters said. “And you have to be okay that they might never be house-broken.”
She said they have thorough discussions with people who are interested in adopting an adult beagle because of the work it will take to properly care for them.
Peters said when looking for people to adopt an older beagle, they are more likely to consider people who have a plan to take care of these dogs who need some extra love and care.
The RACC wants to know what experience possible adoptees have with beagles, what their house situation is, and how they can combat the dogs who aren’t house broken, along with other factors.
Peters urges people to consider adopting other dog breeds who have equally if not more traumatic pasts. On Friday, RACC posted on Facebook to inform potential new pet owners that a supporter has offered to pay the adoption fees for the next 20 people who adopt pit bulls.
“We have dogs in the back who have been waiting for a forever home for months or have a story that is horrific,” Peters said. “Please, don’t restrict it just to a beagle because they have a story and they have something you can say ‘I saved this puppy from Envigo.’”
The RACC is proud to be part of the journey to freedom for these beagles — as the dogs prepare to begin the next chapter of their lives.
“It’s freeing, in every sense of the word, for the beagles and for us to be able to help find them their forever homes,” Peters said.