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21 beagles from Virginia breeding facility arrive in Pittsburgh

21 beagles from Virginia breeding facility arrive in Pittsburgh
21 beagles from Virginia breeding facility arrive in Pittsburgh 00:25

PITTSBURGH (KDKA/AP) - Five Pittsburgh-area organizations are taking in 21 beagles from a breeding facility in Virginia that surrendered about 4,000 dogs. 

The beagles from the Envigo facility in Cumberland traveled over six hours to get to the Humane Animal Rescue of Pittsburgh's North Side location. The dogs arrived Monday evening, and from there, smaller groups went home with other organizations. 

The organizations said the dogs will have medical exams, get vaccinations and be neutered or spayed before they'll be available for adoption. 

"Because western Pennsylvania has such a compassionate community that comes together in times of crisis, the staff and volunteers at Animal Friends, Beaver County Humane Society, Butler County Humane Society, the Humane Animal Rescue of Pittsburgh (HARP) and Washington Area Humane Society came together to make this lifesaving effort possible," the organizations said in a joint press release. 

A federal judge approved a plan in July that called for transferring the dogs to shelters where they can be adopted. 

The development came in a civil enforcement case the federal government initiated in May against Envigo RMS, which owns and operates the facility in Cumberland that breeds beagles for medical research.  

After federal officials accused the company of a series of animal welfare violations, U.S. District Court Judge Norman Moon issued a restraining order imposing a series of restrictions on the facility. In June, company officials announced plans to close it.

Envigo and the government jointly filed a transfer plan that called for the removal of "all" of the facility's beagles by the Humane Society of the United States. According to court documents, Envigo will cover a monetary fee for each dog to help defray the costs to the shelters of preparing the beagles for adoption.

Community members can support the Pittsburgh organizations through either making a donation, adopting the many other homeless pets looking for loving homes or volunteering. 

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