The Lexington Humane Society announced Tuesday it will be taking in some of the beagles rescued by federal authorities from a mass breeding facility in Virginia in July.
About 4,000 beagles were rescued from the facility, which The New York Times reported had violated federal regulations and led to the dogs being ill, underfed and injured. Some of the dogs died in the breeding facility, and 196 were euthanized.
Along with shelters across the country, Lexington Humane Society volunteered to take in some of the rescued beagles despite the fact the shelter was already at capacity.
Katy Stoess, special events manager at the Lexington Humane Society, said the shelter will be taking in 15 of the rescue beagles. All are female, and their ages range from eight months to a year old.
“We wouldn’t be the humane society if we didn’t step in and help them,” Stoess said. “So everyone unanimously agreed that we had to come in and help. Even if it was taking only 15 instead of 30, those 15 will have a great shot at life in being a dog here.”
All the beagles will need socialization and spaying services, Stoess said, but any additional medical needs will be identified once the dogs arrive.
“These dogs were kept in horrific conditions at all different ages, so we won’t know until they get here what kind of medical assistance they’ll need,” Stoess said.
The beagles will arrive at the Lexington shelter at about 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Stoess said, and the humane society has planned out their recovery schedule to promote healing and socialization. Tuesday night, staff will focus on getting the beagles acclimated.
“They traveled over 450 miles to just feel grass for the first time, so it’s gonna be a big ordeal,” Stoess said.
Wednesday, the beagles will enjoy freedom and socialization, and Thursday they will undergo spaying surgery. Friday, they will go out into foster homes until they are medically and socially recovered, Stoess said.
The humane society has had volunteers step up to foster the beagles, but you can apply online to foster the shelter’s other animals or you can make a note in your application that you’d like to be put on the beagle waitlist.
The Lexington Humane Society is requesting donations to help cover medical expenses for the beagles it will house, as well as care for the 400 other animals currently at the shelter.
Donations can be made online, or you can text BEAGLES to 41444.
Stoess said another way to help is to share the Lexington Humane Society’s social media posts about the beagles to increase awareness of donation needs.
“As a nonprofit, we literally cannot do this without our volunteers, and the ones that we have helping out are just amazing,” Stoess said. “And thanks to everyone that donated as well so far, that’s been wildly helpful.”
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