(BETHESDA, MD)—As thousands of families celebrate the first anniversary of adopting their beagles following their historic rescue, some beagles and their adopters joined the Humane Society of the United States at Bark Social for a “Beagleversary Bash” reunion. The event marks one year since the HSUS removed nearly 4,000 beagles from a mass breeding facility in Virginia.
Many of these dogs would have been bound for animal testing laboratories if they had not been removed from the breeding facility, which was owned by a company called Envigo. The U.S. Department of Justice sued Envigo after government inspectors documented numerous Animal Welfare Act violations for issues such as inadequate veterinary care and inhumane euthanasia practices. From July to September 2022, the HSUS removed the nearly 4,000 beagles from the now-closed breeding facility, placing them with over 120 shelter and rescue partners for adoption into loving homes.
HSUS staff members—many of whom spent day after day removing dogs from the breeding facility and caring for them during the rescue operation last—attended the emotional celebration and were filled with joy as they were reunited with the beagles at the event.
“Last time we saw these dogs, all they knew was life in a mass-breeding facility. They had never been in a home. They had never sat on a couch or gone on a walk around the neighborhood,” said Jessica Johnson, senior director of the Humane Society of the United States’ animal rescue team. “Seeing them here with their adopted families a year later is amazing—I hope that this is all they remember.”
Dozens of beagles in the D.C. area and their adopted families were invited to attend the event, which highlighted the resilience and transformation of the dogs as they played and sniffed at Bark Social, a social club for dogs, which also features a beer garden, coffee bar and kitchen.
“Today, we celebrate the remarkable journey of these beagles, who have gone from life in a mass breeding facility to that of cherished family members,” said Kitty Block, president and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States. “These beagles represent the loving homes every dog deserves, as well as the tens of thousands of dogs currently held in laboratory breeding facilities and used in painful experiments. We all have a role to play in putting a stop to the suffering of animals just like the 4,000 beagles.”
"As the dog-lovingest place, we get to see the special bond humans and dogs have every day," said Luke Silverman, co-founder and president of Bark Social. "We are thrilled to partner with the Humane Society of the United States to provide a fun and safe place for these special beagles and their families to celebrate."
The HSUS remains committed to making strides to end animals suffering due to laboratory experimentation. On average, nearly 60,000 dogs are used in experiments each year in the U.S. and tens of thousands more are held in laboratory breeding facilities, the largest housing 25,000 dogs at a time. Advocates are urging state and federal officials to end experiments on dogs and invest in science that is more reliable and doesn’t inflict harm on animals.