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A New Leash for Life: Beagles Rescued from Breeding Facility in Virginia, Adopted by the Humane Society of Jefferson Co. | 97 Seven Country WGLR – The best country variety in the Tri-States

JEFFERSON, Wisconsin – There is a happy ending for some beagles from the Humane Society of Jefferson County in Wisconsin whose story had a dark beginning – they were among the thousands rescued from the troubled Envigo kennel in Virginia.

“We rescued five beagles from confiscation thanks to our friends at the Wisconsin Humane Society,” said Jeff Okazaki, executive director of HSJC.

Among those five was Molly. On Friday she was happy to get her toys and cuddles, probably loving it even more considering where she was from.

“When I was just taking her home for an evening as a sort of quick groomer, she was more comfortable on our concrete driveway than on our lawn,” Okazaki said.

Molly and her two sisters and brothers were among thousands of beagles rescued from Envigo, where they were bred and sold for experimentation in the pharmaceutical and other industries.

RELATED: 4,000 beagles are rescued from a Virginia breeding facility

According to the US Department of Agriculture, the dogs lived in their own filth, received no medical treatment, and many were killed or wounded in close quarters fighting. They found that at least 300 puppies died between January 1, 2021 and July 21, 2021.

“I think they sometimes had six to eight dogs stacked deep in a cage,” Okazaki said. “There are instances where they starved mothers to help wean some of the puppies from them after birth.”

Initially, around 600 dogs deemed life-threatening were removed from the facility earlier this summer.

Our vet was actually a member of the rapid response team that traveled to Virginia to do the exam, there were about 4,000 or 5,000 dogs,” Okazaki said.

After a Justice Department lawsuit and a settlement — without paying any fees — Envigo’s owner, Inotiv, announced it would close the facility in July.

The Humane Society of the United States announced that the last of the 4,000 beagles was removed last week. They were sent to humane societies across the country in search of a better home.

But many, like Molly and her sisters, got something else important with their freedom — their names.

“All the dogs that came in had these big, similar tattoos on their ears,” Okazaki said, pulling up Molly’s ear to reveal the crudely stamped “CNA CNI” underneath.

“And it’s just a little bit heartbreaking to think that that might have been her name,” he said.

But for many animals that come through the humane society in Jefferson, naming can be the easy part.

“When Molly and her friends got here, they were pretty scared,” Okazaki said. “It’s – the facility they come from – they don’t really get a lot of socialization, they don’t get a lot of time.”

While Beagles are known for their good temperaments and are liked by people, it always takes time and review to ensure all the different animals from a troubled past find good homes.

“Especially with dogs that come out of an abusive situation, typically in a lonely home, you can see different behaviors that they would have,” Okazaki said. “For a larger dog, or perhaps a dog that has had a more traumatic past, we are looking for someone who may have more experience handling this type of animal.”

Molly’s sisters were adopted within a week of their arrival.

According to Okazaki, Molly picked up 10 to 15 suitors herself, and one of them will have her tail wagging home within a few days.

“Having these beagles come for our 100th anniversary is just right for us,” he said, “to be able to say that this is all we do. It allows us to make a difference and it’s really fantastic.”

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