We believe that dogs make life better.

Not everyone is supposed to take care of a pet, of course, but generally speaking we lean on the title of the book, “Puppy Chow is Better Than Prozac.” Dogs are supportive, unconditionally loving and eager to please. These faithful companions enrich human life in many ways.

Add to that the understanding that mistreating these innocent animals – especially when they are helpless under our control – is simply depraved; so much so that we often advocate harsher penalties for those who practice any form of abuse or neglect against them.

Apply that to the story of the Virginia dog ranch that was shut down earlier this year, and it’s hard not to feel good about the outcome, especially as North Carolina rescuers — and of Greensboro – played a role.

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It’s only sad that it took so long for the action to happen.

In 2019, Envigo RMS purchased a facility in Virginia that breeds dogs for use in scientific research. Almost immediately, the new owner began racking up citations for violations, including findings that the dogs received inadequate medical care and insufficient food and were housed in unsanitary conditions. Since then, hundreds of dogs have been found dead at the facility.

Complaints proliferated, even as Envigo officials promised to make changes — and, in some ways, they did.

But after years of warnings and citing violations, including calls from Virginia U.S. Senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine, for federal inspectors to strip the facility of its license, the Justice Department finally shut down the facility. installation in May. The DOJ has asked for help from Norfolk-based PETA, the Humane Society of North Carolina and other animal welfare organizations to rescue the dogs and give them new homes.

And that’s where we come in.

Of 4,000 beagles rescued from the facility, 79 have moved into foster homes in central North Carolina, with the involvement of Triangle Beagle Rescue of North Carolina.

Public support for their efforts was enthusiastic.

“We’ve had over 200 host requests,” said Dan Savarese, a Triangle Beagle representative. “We actually crashed our website.”

Supporters have helped, not only by encouraging the beagles, but by donating supplies, including harnesses and beds.

All of this virtually guarantees a new and happy life for beagles, previously bred and kept confined in artificial environments.

“These dogs never put their paws on the grass. Many of them never saw the sun. They never had a toy. They never had a bed. had no family,” PETA Vice President Dan Paden told WRAL News last month.

“They are like big puppies. They’ve lived their whole lives with cement and they don’t know what treats are,” said Leann Tenbusch, marketing coordinator for Triangle Beagle.

There’s a lot to unpack in this story outside of the lure of beagles – including questions about why it took so long to close the facility when it so often violated the Privacy Act. animals, as maintained by the lawsuit against the establishment.

And incidents like this renew the question of whether and how we should allow the use of animal thinking and feeling in scientific research. There is a big difference between research to cure cancer in men and research to improve the durability of lipstick. Animal research has been regulated in the United States since 1966, but abuses still occur.

And while some lawmakers have opposed — and legislated against — the ability of animal rights activists to gather evidence at these types of facilities while working undercover, it’s hard to argue they should have been prevented. to do so in this case. PETA conducted a months-long secret investigation into the facility in 2021 that helped gather information used in the lawsuit.

“PETA sees suffering like this every time we open an operation like Envigo, and this must be the beginning of the end for this hideous beagle-breeding factory,” Senior Vice President Daphna Nachminovitch said in a statement. communicated.

These beagles are now cared for primarily in the Triangle and Greensboro. But similar, equally needed pets are currently residing in local animal shelters, waiting for loving families to bring them home and spoil them.

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