Rescued beagle adoptions delayed due to dogs’ unexpected medical, social issues
Helen Woodward Animal Center is finding homes for 43 dogs seized from a medical-testing breeding center in Virginia
Since taking in 43 adult beagles rescued from a medical-testing breeding facility in Virginia late last month, the Helen Woodward Animal Center has been overwhelmed with goodwill from the dog-loving public.
More than 200 adoption requests have poured in from California and surrounding states, more than $24,000 in donations have been made toward the beagles’ care, and more than 400 toys, bedding and other much-needed items have been purchased for the dogs from the center’s Amazon wish list.
But the adoption process, originally scheduled to begin last Friday, July 29, has hit a few snags. After receiving feedback from staff and the foster families now caring for the dogs, the center has decided to delay adoptions until the beagles can receive further medical and dental treatment, as well as more socialization training.
All of the beagles need to be spayed or neutered, and because of the large number of litters many of the females have had, recovery time will take longer than normal. Also, all of the beagles need dental care because of the unhealthy foods they ate at the breeding facility.
Because the dogs were raised in cages with limited human interaction, they’re still learning how to live with humans in a home. So, following their surgeries and dental treatments, they will all be returned to their foster families for further socialization.
When adoptions do begin, the process will be adapted to suit the dogs’ unique sensitivities, as they are unaccustomed to crowds and new experiences. Instead of inundating the dogs with hundreds of people hoping to meet them, potential adopters must request an appointment at animalcenter.org and will be assigned a date, based upon their lifestyle compatibility with a rescue beagle.
To ensure a good dog-owner bond, Helen Woodward is requiring all potential adopters to live within 500 miles of the center, have experience with beagles or other apprehensive dogs and have a fenced yard. Some dogs will not be placed in homes with children under 12. Special preference will be given to adoptive families with another gentle dog who can serve as a companion and at least one family member who works from home.
The dogs are among more than 4,000 adult beagles seized in July by the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) from Envigo RMS, a breeding center in Cumberland, Va., that sells puppies to laboratories for animal experimentation. Although this lab-animal breeding industry is legal, Envigo agreed to give up its dogs after the U.S. Justice Department sued the company for allegedly committing more than 70 violations of the Animal Welfare Act. The HSUS has called the seizure the largest operation in its history.
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