Beagles rescued from Envigo testing facility last year reunite for birthday party

Last year, animal lovers cheered after 4,000 beagles were rescued from an inhumane facility that bred dogs for testing. The dogs were given their first taste of freedom as they were moved to animal rescues and new homes.

Los Angeles, CA – August 24: Nancy, one of 4000 beagles rescued from a puppy mill and horrible living conditions at Envigo in Virginia. Gary and Kezia Smith are fostering Nancy at their home in Sherman Oaks untill she can find her forever home. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht/MediaNews Group/Los Angeles Daily News via Getty Images)

A year later, one group of rescued beagles reunited for an adorable first birthday party, celebrating their great new lives.

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.

Beagle birthday

Months later, one group of rescued Envigo dogs reunited for a sweet birthday party.

Homeward Trails Animal Rescue, one of the groups that took in beagles last year, shared a video of the litter gathering together for cake and presents.


The one-year-old dogs, all wearing matching bandanas, seem happy as can be as they run around enjoying a day of fun and celebration.

To think that just a year ago these dogs were bred under inhumane conditions is a reminder of the life-saving effort that took place last year.

“Oh what fun it is to be a Beagle allowed to have a life outside of confinement and torture,” Homeward Trails wrote on Facebook.

Happy birthday to these adorable beagles! We’re so glad that they were saved from that terrible breeding facility — enjoy your freedom! ❤️

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