JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – News4JAX helped Nassau Humane Society put out the call Thursday, alerting our dog-loving viewers that 10 beagles from the thousands rescued from a breeding facility in Virginia would be available for adoption soon in Fernandina Beach.
The Northeast Florida paw patrol stepped up in a HUGE way (not that we’re surprised).
NHS sent an update on Friday saying all 10 of the 7-month-old male beagles had been pre-adopted -- within the first hour of them becoming available on Friday -- which just happened to be National Dog Day!
We just can’t make this stuff “pup.”
“It was awesome,” said NHS Executive Director Stephanie Miller.
She thanked the community for its support and quick response, which will help free up kennel space to save other dogs.
If you were interested in giving one of the beagles a home, please don’t be disappointed, NHS said.
“We still have a lot of wonderful rescue dogs who have been in our kennels, some for months, who are also looking for homes,” Miller said. “They’re all fixed and ready to go, including some hound mixes.”
You can see them and read their stories here: https://nassauhumane.org/adopt-dogs.
Adoption fees at NHS are currently reduced on all adult dogs and cats. The Adoption Center at 639 Airport Road in Fernandina Beach is open until 6 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
If you’d like to help NHS defray its costs for taking in and neutering the beagles -- and support the shelter’s life-saving mission -- donations can be made on the NHS Facebook page or at nassauhumane.org; at the shelter; or by calling 904-321-1647.
The 10 pre-adopted beagles will be neutered on Monday and can go to their new fur-ever homes on Tuesday when their adoptions are finalized.
The dogs will require a lot of love and patience. They were among the 4,000 seized by the Department of Justice from the Envigo breeding facility in Virginia that sold dogs to various laboratories across the U.S. to be experimented on.
The Humane Society of the United States has been working to get them from Cumberland, Virginia, into shelters nationwide that have room to take them.
“They are all very sweet and gentle, but they’ve never seen a leash before and have never been potty trained,” said Shelter Director Mandy Holden.
RELATED: ‘They spent their entire lives in cages’: Local animal rescue organization helps to transport 60 beagles to safe shelters across US
NHS is one of about 10 rescues in Florida that received beagles, according to Holden.
“The amazing crew at The Humane Society of Tulsa has been transporting these beagles from the facility in Virginia to shelters and rescues all over the country. This trip they had just over 100 beagles in their transport vehicle,” Holden said.
A federal judge approved a plan to have the dogs transferred to shelters across the U.S. after the facility was accused of numerous animal welfare violations.
U.S. Humane Society Shelter Outreach Director Lindsay Hamrick said the Department of Justice documented dogs at the breeding facility either as dying, being sickly or injured.
“Somewhere around 25 puppies had died from cold exposure within a few weeks period. There were wounds on some of the dogs because they were housed in such close quarters and so they might get into a fight over food, for example. Then dogs that have medical conditions should have been treated at Envigo,” Hamrick said.
While it is legal to breed dogs for research, the welfare of the animals at the breeding facility has to be up to par and offer satisfactory conditions.
Repeated federal inspections of the Envigo facility found dozens of violations, according to investigators, including that some dogs had been “euthanized” without first receiving anesthesia, that dogs had received inadequate veterinary care and insufficient food, and that they were living in unsanitary conditions.
“It takes a massive network of compassionate, expert shelters and rescues to make an operation of this scale possible,” Hamrick said. “We are deeply grateful to each organization that is stepping up to find these dogs the loving homes they so deserve.”
The Humane Society of the United States is maintaining a list of partners accepting animals into their adoption program.
Miller said that if HSUS reaches out again to NHS to take in more, “We definitely will.”