Virginia research beagles aboard HSHV’s ‘Love Train’ headed to Ann Arbor

Pups to get new “leash” on life, says Humane Society of Huron Valley

Beagles rescued from a breeding facility in Virginia are headed to Ann Arbor. (Humane Society Of Huron Valley)

ANN ARBOR – Beagles rescued from a research facility in Cumberland, Virginia, are headed to Tree Town to find their forever homes.

The dogs made national news in July after 4,000 were pulled from an Envigo breeding facility after it was alleged the company had broken numerous federal animal welfare regulations.

Humane Society of Huron Valley is bringing some of the beagles to its Cherry Hill Road facility on its “Love Train,” a transportation program that moves animals around using a specially equipped van and trained staff.

The research dogs, which were reported used for breeding and were sold for pharmaceutical testing, are anticipated to reach Ann Arbor on Monday night after a 12-hour journey, HSHV wrote on social media.

Beagles rescued from a breeding facility in Virginia are headed to Ann Arbor. (Humane Society Of Huron Valley)

“We’re delighted to be able to help these dogs, but it’s important to remember that this horrible and overwhelming situation is not from a hurricane or even illegal activity, but a wealthy corporation that bragged about providing great animal welfare while neglecting and abusing dogs as standard practice,” said HSHV CEO Tanya Hilgendorf in a release.

“Sadly, this happens anytime you mix financial gain with animal care. Profit always wins. In these cases, the poor animals go from cruel breeding facilities to being caged, deprived and hurt over and over the rest of their short lives in laboratory experiments.”

Hilgendorf compared breeding facilities to factory farms, saying that some forms of experimentation on animals are “completely unnecessary.”

“People are overwhelmingly against using animals in painful research, especially for trivial reasons and when alternatives exist. There is pending legislation at both the federal and state levels to help right some of these wrongs. For instance, Teddy’s Law would require Michigan labs to transfer “retired” dogs and cats used in research to shelters so they can be adopted instead of killed. It’s time for our policymakers to make real change,” Hilgendorf said.

Some of the “Love Train” pups will go to Capital Area Humane Society in Lansing and other Michigan shelters.

The relocation effort is spearheaded by the Humane Society of the United States, which is not affiliated with HSHV. Animals are being moved to shelters and rescues around the United States that can give the dogs adequate medical care and behavioral assistance while finding them adopters, HSHV officials said.

Learn more about the “Love Train” program at the HSHV website.

About the Author:

Sarah has worked for WDIV since June 2018. She covers community events, good eats and small businesses in Ann Arbor and has a Master's degree in Applied Linguistics from Grand Valley State University.