The dog-breeding research facility Envigo is shut down, at least temporarily, with staff no longer be able to breed dogs at the company’s notorious facility in Virginia.
A federal judge issued a temporary restraining order prohibiting Envigo from operating its beagle-breeding facility in Cumberland County, where hundreds of dogs allegedly have suffered appalling acts of cruelty and neglect, according to investigations by the federal U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), animal advocates, and a scathing court document by Judge Norman Moon.
The judge cited the deaths of more than 300 beagle puppies due to “unknown causes” over seven months, that many of the innocent dogs were not given anesthesia before they were euthanized by injection directly into the heart, and that beagles with even minor or easily treated medical conditions were euthanized rather than given veterinary care.
Moon further described animal cruelty that involved Envigo staff denying food to nursing female beagles, causing the mother dogs and their litters to receive inadequate nutrition. At least some of the food the beagles received also contained “live insects, worms, maggots, beetles, flies, ants, mold, and feces,” according to USDA reports, with the federal agency citing Envigo for more than 70 animal welfare violations, including dogs with significant dental and skin diseases.
Other violations cited by the judge included leaving beagle puppies in enclosures as workers hosed down the vulnerable animals with cold water, leaving them shivering. Over an 8-week period, 25 beagle puppies died from cold exposure, according to the judge’s temporary restraining order, which further noted that the dogs’ enclosures were overcrowded and the Cumberland facility was understaffed.
“The list of serious violations of the Animal Welfare Act and its regulations goes on and on,” Moon wrote.
Just prior to the judge’s ruling, law enforcement seized 145 dogs and puppies from Envigo’s facility who, according to veterinarians, needed immediate care because of life-threatening illnesses or injuries.
Envigo said in a statement issued after the judge’s ruling that the company is cooperating with federal authorities but “denies the allegations in the complaint and will vigorously defend against the lawsuit,” the Times-Dispatch reported. Envigo went on to say that “the highest quality of animal welfare is a core value of our company and is central to our business. Our mission at Envigo is to help our customers realize the full potential of their scientific and medical research, which ultimately contributes to significant improvements in the lives of both humans and animals.”
A seven-month undercover investigation by PETA led the way on exposing and now halting Envigo’s allegedly torturous treatment of its beagles. LFT’s petition calling for authorities to shut down the Cumberland breeding facility also collected more than 47,000 signatures.
Thanks to all who took time to make their voices heard in the effort to end the pain and suffering of so many innocent dogs. We’ll keep doing all we can to help save animals everywhere.