Rescued beagles reunite for “Beagleversary” one year after being freed from breeding facility


One of the biggest animal stories of last year was the freeing of the “Envigo beagles,” 4,000 dogs who were rescued from a notorious breeding facility in Virginia.

Over the course of several months, the beagles were removed from the facility and relocated to animal rescues around the country, and many have gone on to great new homes.

Recently, one year after being rescued, the beagles reunited for a “Beagleversary” to celebrate their freedom.

Envigo beagles

The beagles were rescued from Envigo, a contract research company in Cumberland, Virginia that came under fire from animal rights activists over the inhumane treatment of their dogs. A PETA investigation found 5,000 beagles being kept in “prison-like” conditions that led to the deaths of 300 puppies.

“The dogs had no beds, no toys, no stimulation—no real lives,” PETA wrote. “For more than 50 years, various companies have bred them at this dog factory farm to sell to laboratories for experimentation.”

Investigators also found that Envigo performed “unnecessarily painful medical experiments on dogs and puppies, including euthanasia without sedatives,” according to FOX 43.

The facility came under fire by local lawmakers and animal rights groups, who fought for it to be shut down. Envigo then submitted bids for permission to fulfill a sister company’s contract order by selling 2,200 dogs into 2023, but these were rejected by Senior U.S. District Court Judge Norman K. Moon.

Envigo, the Humane Society and the U.S. government then presented a joint plan to move the remaining 4,000 beagles in the facility to shelters for adoption. A federal judge in Lynchburg, Virginia signed off on the proposal last July, allowing the dogs to finally be moved to shelters.

“Those dogs have never put their paws on grass. Many of them have never seen the sun. They’ve never had a toy. They’ve never had a bed. They haven’t had a family,” said PETA vice president Dan Paden.

Over the next few months, the thousands of dogs were relocated to rescue groups across the country, spearheaded by the Humane Society of the United States. By September, all 4,000 had been rescued from Envigo.

Many of these dogs have since found loving new homes (one was reportedly adopted by Prince Harry and Meghan Markle), a happy ending for dogs who born under cruel conditions and fated to be experimented on.


It’s been a truly life-changing year for these dogs, and last month many of the beagles reunited to celebrate their newfound freedom.

According to a press release from The Humane Society, the “Beagleversary Bash” event was held at Bark Social, a “social club for dogs” in Bethesda, Maryland.

Meredith Lee/The HSUS

Many families who rescued Envigo beagles attended with their pets, along with representatives from the Humane Society. The dogs had a great time running around and playing, but it was also an emotional reunion, remembering how far they’ve come in the past few months.

Meredith Lee/The HSUS

“Last time we saw these dogs, all they knew was life in a mass-breeding facility. They had never been in a home. They had never sat on a couch or gone on a walk around the neighborhood,” Jessica Johnson, senior director of the Humane Society’s animal rescue team, said in a press release.

Meredith Lee/The HSUS

“Seeing them here with their adopted families a year later is amazing—I hope that this is all they remember.”

“Today, we celebrate the remarkable journey of these beagles, who have gone from life in a mass breeding facility to that of cherished family members,” said president and CEO Kitty Block.

Meredith Lee/The HSUS

“These beagles represent the loving homes every dog deserves, as well as the tens of thousands of dogs currently held in laboratory breeding facilities and used in painful experiments. We all have a role to play in putting a stop to the suffering of animals just like the #4000beagles.” 

It’s just one of the heartwarming celebrations held in honor of these sweet rescue dogs. In July, a group of Envigo beagles gathered to celebrate their first birthday together.

What a precious reunion — we’re so glad these beautiful beagles are doing so well a year after being rescued! ❤️

Please share this amazing news!




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