More than 100 beagles rescued from a Virginia breeding center that sells animals for use in scientific testing arrived in San Diego County Wednesday.
The beagles are among 4,000 dogs that animal activists say were removed from the custody of Envigo, a company sued by the U.S. Department of Justice for allegedly failing to properly care for beagles at its Cumberland, Virginia facility, in violation of the Animal Welfare Act.
The San Diego Humane Society will take in the 108 beagles who arrived on a flight to Gillespie Field on Wednesday afternoon. The society says foster volunteers are ready to provide care for the dogs, who will be transported to the society’s El Cajon shelter for intake and exams.
About 50 of the beagles are set to stay with SDHS fosters until they are adopted, while other local shelters — including Rancho Coastal Humane Society and PAWS of Coronado — will place the remainder of the beagles.
San Diego Humane Society Senior Vice President Brian Daugherty said the dogs will need to be assessed, spayed/neutered and receive medical checks before they can be adopted, a process he said could take a few weeks.
“We will be making them available for adoption as we deem them behaviorally and medically ready for adoption,” Daughterty said in a live stream documenting the beagles’ arrival at the airfield.
In July, 43 of the rescued beagles were also flown to the region and transported to the Helen Woodward Animal Center in Rancho Santa Fe. Most of those dogs have already been adopted.
“These beagles deserve this second chance and we’re very glad to be able to open our doors to them, just as we will soon ask our community to do,” San Diego Humane Society President and CEO Gary Weitzman said.
City News Service contributed to this article.