Ten animal welfare organizations across the state have collaborated with the Humane Society of the United States to receive dozens of beagles to Maine as part of the historic removal of beagles from a mass-breeding facility in Virginia. This flight to Maine will mark the final transfer of the last remaining beagles from the facility to animal shelter partners for adoption.

Organizations participating in this partnership include Animal Refuge League of Greater Portland (Westbrook), Animal Welfare Society (Kennebunk), Franklin County Humane Society (Farmington), Greater Androscoggin Humane Society (Lewiston), Humane Society Waterville Area (Waterville), Kennebec Valley Humane Society (Augusta), PAWS Animal Adoption Center (Camden), Pope Memorial Humane Society (Thomaston), Responsible Pet Care of Oxford Hills (South Paris), and Tall Tails Beagle Rescue (Mechanic Falls).

The Humane Society of the United States has coordinated the removal of approximately 4,000 beagles housed at an Envigo RMS LLC facility in Cumberland, Virginia which bred dogs to be sold to laboratories for animal experimentation.

“It takes a massive network of compassionate, expert shelters and rescues to make an operation of this scale possible,” said Lindsay Hamrick, shelter outreach and engagement director for the Humane Society of the United States. “We are deeply grateful to each organization that is stepping up to find these dogs the loving homes they so deserve.”

The transfer plan was submitted by the Department of Justice and Envigo RMS LLC, with the agreement of the Humane Society of the United States to assume the responsibility of coordinating placement. The transfer plan has taken place in stages over the past 60 days.

Wings of Rescue , a national pet transport nonprofit, flew the beagles from an HSUS temporary shelter in Maryland to Northeast Air in Portland.

“It is our privilege to be providing the air-transport component of this life-saving beagle-rescue flight,” said Ric Browde, CEO of Wings of Rescue. “Working with HSUS and the many Maine shelter and rescue groups involved, we know these pets will now be well cared for and that there will be a truly happy ending to an otherwise very sad story.”

Once the beagles arrive at their Maine shelter destinations, they will undergo a state-required two-week quarantine where shelter teams will assess their medical and behavioral needs, prior to adoption placements.

Interested adopters can contact the shelter in their area to learn more about the adoption process.