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Beagles arrive at Harbor Humane for rehabilitation after being rescued from lab in Virginia

Harbor Humane will rehabilitate a small portion of 4,000 beagles that were freed from a Virginia breeding facility.

OTTAWA COUNTY, Michigan — An Ottawa County humane society welcomed 10 beagles who were rescued from a Virginia breeding facility on Wednesday morning.

Harbor Humane Society was one of two West Michigan humane societies that received a portion of the 4,000 beagles that were rescued.

The dogs are from a breeding and research facility in Virginia, which the feds shut down after numerous animal welfare violations were found.  

"These beagles were raised in a lab facility. They were raised specifically for laboratory testing. That lab has been shut down by the Humane Society of the United States," said Sarah Ybema, the Medical Director at Harbor Humane Society. "And they had 4,000 beagles that needed to go somewhere. So, the animal welfare community has really stepped up and we've taken a few, Humane Society of West Michigan has taken a few. All over the country, everybody has helped out to the extent that they can." 

The beagles arrived at Harbor Humane at about 9:30 a.m. and the staff shared their arrival on their Facebook page.

Our beagles are here! We're getting to know them, but they are already showing us so much love. It's truly heartbreaking to think of what their fate could have been... thank you to everyone who helped get them freed, and home. <3

Posted by Harbor Humane on Wednesday, August 10, 2022

"They seem to be fairly healthy, they're all good weights, they all have good hair coats. Mentally, it's a little bit different. They don't necessarily associate people with good things, yet," Ybema said about the health of the dogs upon arrival. "They know lab life, and they've never known home life. So our goal is to start to mentally rehabilitate them through our foster program, through our employees here working with them every day, to get them ready to go live the rest of their best life in a house."

The dogs will take some time to rehabilitate before they are ready for adoption. Ybema says that she isn't sure how long until they are ready to adopt. Some dogs could be ready as soon as a few weeks, while others could take up to a few months or longer.

Learn more about the Harbor Humane Society at HarborHumane.org and see the pets they have available for adoption here. You can also call and leave a message at 616-399-2119.

The Humane Society of West Michigan also welcomed 25 beagles from the same testing facility in Virginia on Tuesday. You can see a Facebook post with pictures of the beagles here.

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