August 28, 2022
By now, you’ve likely heard about the tragic and horrific situation surrounding the #EnvigoBeagles. The Fredericksburg SPCA has been monitoring this situation for months as the Humane Society of the United States coordinated the removal of approximately 4,000 beagles housed at an Envigo RMS LLC facility in Cumberland, VA which bred dogs to be sold to laboratories for animal experimentation. Government inspectors found numerous violations which are detailed in the lawsuit filed against Envigo by the Department of Justice in May, alleging Animal Welfare Act violations at the facility. These horrific conditions included euthanasia by intracardiac injection without anesthesia for easily treated conditions; nursing mother beagles denied food; water spigots being out of reach, and food infested with maggots, mold, and feces. Over a seven-month period, 300 of the bred puppies died onsite due to ‘unknown causes’ and autopsies were not performed due to the level of decomposition when they were finally found. Over an eight-week period, 25 puppies died from cold exposure as a result of being sprayed down with water and left wet. The list of atrocities goes on and on in this tragic situation.
Freedom ride with Fred SPCA transport volunteer, Debra F.
Animal Care Technician, Hannah C. unloading the transport van upon arrival.
As a member of the Virginia Federation of Humane Societies, the Fredericksburg SPCA is in constant communication with the needs of our state and knew there was the likelihood of a call to action. Even though shelters and rescues across the nation were eager to help, 4000 placements of dogs who have never been socialized is a herculean effort. Due to the ongoing investigation, we were not able to release the information about our involvement until now… Today, the Fredericksburg SPCA was on the ground floor at the Envigo facility to welcome 35 beagles into our care. After undergoing intake, receiving preventatives, and getting bathed, the beagles went directly into foster care so they could begin their healing journey and have their very first sleep on a soft bed. We are honored to be able to change the ending of their stories; from tragedy to triumph. Our important work doesn’t stop here, and we need our community now more than ever.
Fred SPCA Animal Care team giving fluids to a dehydrated beagle.
Fred SPCA Locke Community Medical Center Holly & tattooed beagle.
The Fredericksburg SPCA has been at critical capacity for several months, as its mission is to help Virginia reach no-kill status by 2025. In order to do this, we transport vulnerable animals from rural municipal/open intake shelters each week to lower their euthanasia rates. Our weekly transfers of animals that would otherwise not have a live outcome cannot stop as we assist in the Envigo Beagle situation.
Our hope is that our community will support us during this time so we can continue to go where we are needed most. The intake of 35 extra dogs leaves us in greater need of fosters, donations, and supplies. We cannot slow down in our mission to save lives.
Make a donation: Give a gift today to make a direct impact on vulnerable animals.
Donate food: Our shelves are near empty for adult and puppy food, both wet and dry. Please donate directly off of our Amazon wishlist, or drop off a donation at 10819 Courthouse Rd. Our donation racks are set outside the front doors from 10 am – 6 pm each day.
Foster: We are in desperate need of people to foster current and future transports of animals. There is also the potential for another Envigo Beagle transfer in the future. Please register at fredspca.org/foster
Adopt: The Envigo Beagles are not yet available for adoption. They are decompressing as we continue to assess their needs both medically and behaviorally. These dogs have never lived in a home and so the next several weeks will be a time of firsts for them. When dogs are available, they will be displayed on our adoption page in real-time.
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Volunteer Coordinator, Kathleen D. carrying a beagle from the van to get an intake exam.
Bush’s first time experiencing cool grass and a sunset outside.
Animal Care Coordinator, Catie N. weighing a beagle for its intake exam.
What we know about the 35 Envigo beagles in our care so far:
Fred SPCA staff transported 35 young, male, beagles back to our facility early Thursday morning. The dogs had a day of firsts to begin their journey to a better life. The best way to describe the beagles is “unsure how to dog”, but we are confident with time, love, and gentle patience they will blossom as they learn they are now safe. Some beagles did not know what to do with the soft bedding and kicked it to the side to sleep on the hard crate instead. Bowls seemed to be puzzling to these pups who have only ever drunk from spigots that were not always in reach. This is why some may have tipped their bowls over in favor of drinking off of the floor. Since these beagles were specifically bred in the facility to be used for testing, it is likely they’ve never seen the sun or touched the grass…so our hearts were overjoyed to show a couple of them the warm afternoon in the play yard for their foster meet and greets. Learning how to walk on grass, or walk further than to the end of a cramped crate in general, is a learning curve we know they are eager to overcome. Fosters are still needed – please email firstname.lastname@example.org to connect with the team and register as a foster at fredspca.org/foster.
Fred SPCA Humane Educator, Rachel M. & Volunteer Coordinator, Kathleen D. prove that it was all hands on deck at the SPCA for beagles first baths.
Director of Animal Care, Ashley Lindbeck & Executive Director, Carrie Withers arriving back from the Envigo facility transporting 35 dogs.
Fred SPCA Locke Community Medical Center Manager, Holly H. and Community Programs Manager, Maddie R. showcase their Fear Free handling skills during an intake exam in the play yard at the SPCA.