Envigo Beagles – From Inhumane Conditions to Homes of Unconditional Love
Nearly 4,000 beagles were liberated from cruel and inhumane conditions at Envigo, a breeding facility in Virginia. Investigators from the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) identified numerous violations of federal law governing the treatment of animals, including untreated diseases and injuries, cages laden with feces and moldy food. Beagles are the most common dogs used for experiments because of their docile nature and small size, which allows more of them to be housed in less space.
Thanks to our outstanding partnership with HSUS, Baypath was able to take in several beagles rescued from these horrendous conditions. In August 2022, Shelter Manager Nikki Baltas worked with Northeast Animal Shelter in Salem, MA to welcome six of these special puppies into our care.
The beagle puppies arrived at the shelter trembling and quiet. Our staff could only imagine what they experienced up until this point in their young lives. The puppies huddled together under one of the benches in our outside pen, comforting one another as they transitioned to their new temporary home.
Envigo Puppies arrive at Baypath
The entire Baypath community, including our skilled staff and volunteers, welcomed these precious pups with open arms, introducing them to soft voices, kind touches and the feeling of grass on their paws for the first time. At first, they walked with high steps, unfamiliar with the natural texture, but it didn’t take these puppies long to realize that they could run freely with each other in this safe new environment!
Our team went straight to work finding calm and patient foster homes for these amazing puppies, where they could rest and decompress while receiving crucial socialization. The next order of business was securing veterinary appointments to diagnose and treat any health issues. Once medically cleared, our adoption team knew they needed to find extra special homes for these resilient young dogs. Not surprisingly, we received an outpouring of support from our incredibly kind-hearted and generous community, including many adopters who came forward wanting to help these beagles by giving them a loving home.
Please view this video to see their reactions to grass!
As HSUS rescues thousands of dogs each year, they had to get creative in naming the dogs that came to Baypath. Our pups were: White Tail Deer, Eastern Wolf, Lion, Slow Loris, Ferret, and Ground Hog. With such a sad beginning to their lives, we want to share with you how well they are adjusting to living in a home just six months later!
Two of the pups, White Tail Deer and Eastern Wolf, were both fostered together with Julia Strauss and later with Amy Frederick while they waited for their medical checkup. Once cleared, White Tail Deer went to live with the Kahn Family and joined a human brother and brother and sister kitties. With his transition into home life being so easy, they gave him the nickname ‘Perfect Peter’ and say he can often be found shadowing one family member or another with a ball in his mouth, ready to play! Peter’s mom says, “since I was a little girl, I loved the cartoon character, Snoopy, and always had a soft spot in my heart for beagles.”
White Tail Deer ~ Now “Perfect Peter” at home
White Tail Deer’s foster buddy, Eastern Wolf, seems to be equally as loved and is adjusting well to living life in a home. Bernie, his new name for a fresh start, joined the Carey Family, who also happen to be a relative of one of our long-time volunteers, Jen Schepis. The Carey Family say that Eastern Wolf has brought so much love and joy into their lives. He enjoys hiking, shredding paper and is “kind of a celebrity in the neighborhood,” as they educate everyone who will listen to the plight of the beagles from Envigo.
Eastern Wolf ~ Now “Bernie” at home
Former board member Rachel Werrick immediately fell in love with Slow Loris. Upon taking him home, she felt he too needed a new name for his new start – and Charlie immediately fit the bill! Since her first day with Charlie, Werrick says he is a “happy, very funny, extremely loving little man.” Werrick says that not only does he have a “slew of friends of all sizes at his school,” but he has also helped to bring out a side in her current fearful dog, Archie, that she has never seen before. Archie now comes out and socializes more than ever before…all thanks to Charlie!
Slow Loris ~ Now “Charlie” at home
The Giordano family adopted Lion after he was being cared for by Joanne Cote, one of our beloved volunteers. The Giordano’s renamed him Quincy, and being curious about his life at Envigo, have maintained contact through social media with other adopters of Envigo beagles. They learned that one such pup happens to go to the same daycare as Quincy – and they act like they’ve known each other for years! The Giordano’s say that Lion loves long walks with his canine sister, snuggles on the couch, going to doggie daycare and most of all, he loves to collect sticks and has been coined their family “branch” manager.
Lion ~ Now “Quincy” at home
As for the last two dogs, Ground Hog and Ferret were fostered together by long-time foster Tara Dahlstrom, where they spent time playing together, exploring the outside world and enjoying attention from her children.
Ground Hog went to live with a longtime volunteer and previous adopter, The D’Innocenzo Family. Ground Hog, renamed Spencer, joined his big sister Lacey, who is also a Baypath alum. Spencer has settled into his new family seamlessly and loves the company of his sister, snuggling with his humans, walks and shredding his toys!
Ground Hog ~ Now “Spencer” at home
Ferret joined another Baypath alum, Oliver, who was adopted 15 years prior by the Matamoros Family.
Ferret, known now as Oregano, shares his home with two canine siblings and loves to cuddle. He is described by his adoptive family as sweet and playful, but also mischievous and fun!
Ferret ~ Now “Oregano” at home
Seeing how happy these sweet boys now are is the most rewarding part of the job for us at Baypath. A lot of pieces had to come together to create this complete puzzle – from rescuing the puppies from Virginia to finding each of them adoptive homes. Success stories like these fuel us to keep doing the work we do with the support of our fosters, donors, veterinarians, rescue partners and our wonderful adopters. We kept the promise we whispered to them on that first day in the grass at Baypath – and found them loving, safe homes.