USDA cites Virginia dog farm for abusing animals
Shannon Keith, president and founder of the Beagle Freedom Project, said the Duchess’s team had reached out and Meghan said she has been a long-time supporter of the nonprofit. After an initial phone call, Harry and Meghan paid a personal visit to Mum Mia on July 25 and completed the adoption this month, Keith said.
“However, from the moment they walked in, Mia ran up to them wagging his tail,” said Keith, who is also an animal rights lawyer. “It’s like she knew, ‘Oh, these are my people.’ And they just fell in love with her right away. I was like, ‘Oh, this is totally the point.’ Because Mia hadn’t done that to anyone else she’d met before.’
The Beagle Freedom Project has posted on its website about Mia’s adoption. Spokespersons for the royal couple did not immediately respond to requests for comment from The Post, but confirmed their visit to the nonprofit to the Los Angeles Times.
Keith said Meghan and the family, including 3-year-old son Archie and 1-year-old daughter Lilibet, were looking for another dog now that they were settled in their home in Montecito, California. Meghan had already adopted another rescue beagle, Guy, before moving in with Harry.
“They specifically wanted to adopt a dog that had an abused and traumatized past,” Keith said. Meghan knew the story and knew Envigo and wanted to adopt the mother. She made it clear she didn’t want a puppy – puppies are easy to place. She and her family are happy to adopt the dogs that are hard to place.”
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Federal investigators last year found dozens of animal welfare violations at the Virginia facility run by Envigo, an Indianapolis-based company that breeds and sells dogs for testing purposes to the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries. The U.S. Department of Agriculture expressed concern that dogs at the facility suffered en masse from “discomfort, lethargy, or stress” due to stifling temperatures; that food vending machines were littered with insects; and that in a seven-month period, hundreds of puppies had died of “unknown causes”.
Keith said: Beagle Freedom Project has taken in 25 of the 4,000 beagles from the facility in Cumberland, about 50 miles west of Richmond. The Humane Society has been working with federal agencies to coordinate the rescue.
“We’ve removed nearly 3,000 beagles from Envigo to date, making this adoption a heartwarming representation of the thousands of new beginnings unfolding for these dogs,” Kitty Block, president and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States, said in a statement. a statement to the Post.
“We are deeply moved by the many individuals and more than 75 shelters and rescue services across the country who have already opened their doors to beagles spared from a lifetime of suffering in a lab.”