Beagles removed from Virginia breeding facility available for adoption at Humane Society of Sarasota County

Thousands of beagles were saved from a medical testing facility in Virginia last month, and the Humane Society has been sending them across the country to find new homes.

More than a dozen were just adopted over the weekend at the Humane Society of Tampa Bay. Now, the Humane Society of Sarasota County is accepting adoption applications for the 18 beagles it received from a mass breeding facility in Virginia last month. 

For those who are ready to be adopted from the Humane Society of Sarasota County, visit: They are accepting applications through Sept. 2.

The Humane Society of the United States lead what it called a ‘historic operation’ to remove approximately 4,000 beagles at Envigo RMS LLC’s facility in Virginia which bred dogs to be sold to laboratories for animal experimentation.

The Department of Justice filed a lawsuit alleging Animal Welfare Act violations at the facility.

Government inspectors investigating found beagles were being killed instead of receiving care for easily treated conditions. They also found nursing mother beagles were being denied food and the food they did receive contained maggots, mold, and feces.

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Advocates said beagles are commonly chosen for testing because of their trusting and docile nature.

"They're medium-sized dogs, and they're just extremely friendly, sweet dogs. So unfortunately, they're very easy dogs to endure a lot of the experimentation," said Ornella Varchi, chief development officer for the Humane Society of Tampa Bay.

The dogs are now going through the intake process at each shelter to assess where they are physically and emotionally with the goal to get them ready for adoption and help them all find loving homes.

Groups like Animal Wellness Action are pushing lawmakers to pass the FDA Modernization Act.  The bill allows an applicant for market approval for a new drug to use methods other than animal testing to establish the drug's safety and effectiveness.

"There is no reason for this volume of animals to be used in laboratory tests except for this mandated testing. It's only because of the mandate that we're running through millions of animals a year in the United States. Beagles are just one of many, many species who are victimized by these unnecessary animal tests," Wayne Pacelle, the president of Animal Wellness Action said.

They’re encouraging people to reach out to their lawmakers in support of the bill.