By now, you may have seen the news that a breeding facility in Virginia was inspected and shut down after authorities discovered abysmal conditions for the dogs—which means 4,000 beagles are in need of adoption or fostering. According to the New York Times, the authorities have about two months to find homes for all the dogs, so if you’re interested in fostering, adopting, or helping in other ways, here’s how to get involved.
Contact your local humane society
The Humane Society of the United States, an animal-welfare nonprofit, is the sole party responsible for managing the removal of the beagles, which were bred to be sold to laboratories for experimentation. The transfer is going to “take place in stages over the next 60 days,” the Humane Society said, and the dogs will be distributed to affiliated shelters and rescue partners.
The national network of shelters and rescue partners includes over 350 organizations, and the Humane Society will be releasing a list of those accepting animals into their adoption program at this link as information is confirmed. If you want one of these beagles, you’ll need to work with your local placement group.
Call your local Humane Society, ask if they plan to take any of the beagles, and express that you’re interested in fostering or adopting one, if possible. Here is the link your local shelter can use to contact the Humane Society if they are willing to take any of the dogs. Also ask if there’s any additional help you can offer. This is a major undertaking for the organization and they need to move fast, so the Humane Society is also asking for donations.
Remember this is not a decision to make lightly
The story of these dogs’ transfer is really heartbreaking. It’s easy to get swept up by the details of how they were kept, how many were killed, and how urgently the government acted to shut the facility down. You might come away from one of the news articles thinking, “I have to adopt one!”
If you’re not prepared for the responsibility of owning a dog, however—and especially owning one that has been through so much trauma—don’t rush into this. These dogs need stability and, ideally, owners who know what they’re doing—or are willing to learn, no matter how long it takes. Adopting or fostering any animal is a major commitment, but you have to commit extra hard to an animal who is coming from these sorts of conditions. Here’s everything to know before bringing a dog home.
If you’re not in a position to foster or adopt one yourself, you can donate to the Humane Society or ask about volunteer options at your local shelter—and reach out to friends who might be equipped to take in a dog and tell them about the situation.
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