More beagles on the way for ‘Beagleville’ at Lexington Humane Society

The Lexington Humane Society took in 15 of 4,000 beagles being rescued from a VA mass breeding facility and more are on the way



The Lexington Humane Society is calling itself “Beagleville” right now.

The shelter is one of many across the nation helping The Humane Society of the United States rescue a staggering 4,000 beagles from a breeding facility called Envigo in Cumberland, Virginia. So far, 2,000 of them have been rescued and taken to shelters. LHS has 15 right now but says it’s expecting to take on more.

According to LHS, the facility was breaking several animal welfare laws, causing the Humane Society of the United States to step in, calling on shelters to help take on some of the pups.

According to Beagleville head Briana Stanhope, the dogs were unsocialized, kept in cramped cages and had never seen grass before.

“For example, when I gave them baths yesterday, only like two or three of them shook all the water off and I thought, ‘these dogs don’t quite know how to be dogs,'” said Stanhope.

However, the dogs have been adjusting well. When ABC 36 visited, they were playing outside with volunteers, visitors and each other happily in an outdoor pen.

“They were nervous, very timid, but once they found they were in a safe space they came out of their shells and came to life,” said LHS Special Events Manager Katy Stoess.

Like many shelters right now, LHS is full, with about 200 dogs available for adoption on-site, so it was a challenge to make room for 15 more dogs.

However, LHS says it was a challenge worth taking.

Stoess says it’s best to consider adoption when looking for a dog. If you do choose to buy from a breeder, do your research beforehand.

“To anyone that’s looking for a specific breed of dog we have a program called First Contact, where if you’re looking for a certain breed, age, gender, or temperament, you can sign up for the program and we’ll contact you when one comes in. But if you decide to go to a breeder do your research. Check out the facilities. Ask the right questions,” said Stoess.

LHS says it needs help covering the beagles’ medical expenses, saying it’s already cost about $10,000 just to get the beagles to safety.

If you’re interested in donating, text BEAGLES to 41444.


Fifteen of 4,000 beagles rescued from a mass breeding facility in Virginia are going to loving foster homes in our area Tuesday, thanks to the Lexington Humane Society.

The beagles will be introduced to play yards, evaluated for medical treatment, receive spay or neuter surgeries and then be placed with their foster homes.

“As with most shelter animals, LHS is caring for a very high number of animals this summer, and our resources are stretched to the limit,” said LHS President Susan Malcomb in a press release. “Even with all of our challenges, our team categorically elected to help these beagles. How could we not?”

While in foster care, the beagles will acclimate to life in a home — and learn what it is to be a dog. For updates on their progress, be sure to follow the LHS Facebook page.

LHS added that this was a big undertaking considering the 400 other animals in its care and that they need the community’s support now.

If you’d like to help, you can make a donation on the recent Facebook post by LHS, on the LHS website or by texting BEAGLES to 41444.

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