MIDLAND, Mich. (WNEM) – They were bred in a facility in Virginia to be sold to labs and used for animal testing.

Now, a local humane society is joining other organizations from around the country to find a forever home for some of the 4,000 beagles rescued from the awful conditions.

In May, the United States Department of Justice sued the company that owns the facility, Envigo, alleging Animal Welfare Act violations.

Inspectors found dogs were being killed instead of receiving a vet’s care for easily treatable ailments or injured from living in overcrowded cages.

Nursing beagles were denied food, or given food containing maggots, mold, and feces. At least 25 beagle puppies died from cold exposure.

Envigo agreed to a settlement last month to shut down the facility, but it did not admit any wrongdoing.

“Never touched grass. Never experienced life outside of a cage,” said Beth Wellman, director of the Humane Society of Midland County.

Wellman said the male dogs, who are seven to 9-months-old, are available for foster to adopt. That means beagles can go home but the HSOMC finishes taking care of their medical needs, instead of sitting in the shelter for weeks.

“They desperately deserve to be into homes and start living their lives,” Wellman said.

Wellman said there are beagles being used for research in Michigan. That is why she wants state lawmakers to act on legislation known as “Teddy’s Law.”

“‘Teddy’s Law’ does not stop animal research. But what it does is after the experiments are over, it gives the option for some of these animals to go up for adoption,” Wellman said.

The proposed measure has been in the committee on regulatory reform since May 2021. Wellman is urging the chair of that committee, State Rep. Roger Hauck, to move the bill forward. TV5 reached out to Hauck’s office, but he was not available.

Wellman said lives are at stake.

“There’s over 600 beagles in testing facilities in Michigan right now, that after they’re done, they’re going to be euthanized,” Wellman said.

As of Wednesday morning, 27 of the 50 beagles from Virginia were still available. Mark Kennedy stopped by to take one home for his family.

“Oh, it’s just great. I’ve been around beagles all my life. So that be great to make sure one of them at least gets a proper home,” Kennedy said.

For her part, Wellman expects all the beagles to have a new place to call home soon.

“I’m very excited for these beagles and these new families to get to help them learn what life is like now,” Wellman said.

If you’re interested in adopting one of the beagles, contact the Humane Society of Midland County for more information.

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By Richard

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