WALKER, Mich. — More than two dozen dogs are headed to a West Michigan animal shelter after thousands were rescued from a shutdown breeding facility in Virginia.
"I'm just really excited to help give these dogs a second chance," Brianna Shahly, Marketing and Communications Coordinator with the Humane Society of West Michigan, says.
The Humane Society is expecting 25 beagles within the next two weeks.
"We are open to taking adults and puppies," Shahly says. "We're expecting a lot of them to arrive pretty sick."
The dogs are from a breeding and research facility in Virginia, which the feds shut down after numerous animal welfare violations were found.
About 4,000 beagles are being distributed to shelters across the country.
"They'll probably need pretty extensive medical care, as well as definitely behavioral assistance as these animals were kept in tiny, tiny cages," Shahly says. "They didn't have names. They've barely interacted with humans in any way that was positive."
Since everything developed quickly, the Humane Society is raising $10,000 to make sure they have everything they need to take care of these beagles.
"Our medical team is going to get to work right away and making sure that we address everything that we can make sure they're healthy (and) they're fixed," Shahly says.
She says the shelter wants to line up foster homes for the beagles as soon as possible too.
"Oftentimes, actually, the best way to socialize these animals rather than keeping them in the shelter, is sending them straight to foster homes," Shahly says.
She says the dogs will likely not be trained and will be nervous, but she expects them to really grow and heal in the right homes.
"We're really looking for loving patient foster families that can understand where these dogs have been, and (provide) the sort of help and support that they'll need moving forward until they can find their loving forever home," Shahly says.
Since the beagles will need plenty of vet visits and socializing in their foster homes first, they will likely not be available for adoption for some time.
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