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After being rescued from a research facility, 50 beagles arrive in Midland

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Rick Brewer
Diane Bailey of Midland says her new beagle, Finley, will be her seventh beagle.

A second chance at life is being given to 50 male beagles after arriving in Midland on Tuesday.

The beagles were recently rescued from a Virginia research facility and are now up for adoption at the Humane Society of Midland County.

Last month, a federal judge ordered the release of 4,000 beagles from the Envigo breeding and research facility.

The New York Times reported Envigo was in violation of dozens of federal regulations. When federal officials filed for a search warrant, they found hundreds of beagles ill and some dead due to the treatment they received.

Once the beagles were released from Envigo, federal authorities were given 60 days to find new homes for the beagles.

And one of those places is the Humane Society of Midland County located in the City of Midland.

“They are surprisingly in pretty good condition,” said Veronica Letts, an animal care technician with the Humane Society of Midland County. “They are up to date with their vaccinations, for the most part, but they are not in the slightest injured.”

However, the beagles had been missing out on something important: the great outdoors. Letts said the dogs had never seen grass before or even been outside until they arrived in Midland.

“It was actually insane to see them touch grass for the first time because they didn't even know what to do,” said Letts.

Several anxious beagle lovers gathered outside the Humane Society as early as 7:45AM Tuesday morning to get in line for adoption. And when the doors opened at noon, a long line had formed outside of people waiting to meet the beagles.

Sherry Decker traveled all the way from the Lansing area to adopt one of the beagles. Decker said she was willing to go just about anywhere to adopt one of the dogs after hearing various news reports about the Envigo facility.

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Rick Brewer
Sherry Decker traveled from the Lansing area to adopt one of the beagles. She says her family will decide on a name for their newest member.

Before Decker discovered the Humane Society of Midland County was going to have beagles, she was planning to take a ferry from Muskegon to Milwaukee to get one.

“And then their Humane Society is only nine minutes from the ferry,” said Decker. “I love beagles. And who wouldn't want to rescue a beagle that was in a puppy mill?,” added Decker.

Letts said this is the second transport of beagles they received following the release of the 4,000 beagles from Envigo.

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Rick Brewer
One of the beagles at the Humane Society of Midland County waiting for a new home.

A few months ago, the Humane Society received 40 beagles ranging from 8 weeks to 8 years in age, both male and female. All of them were adopted within 3 days upon arrival.

Letts said she anticipates a similar timeline for this latest round of 50 male beagles, ranging from ages 1-3.

According to Letts, the quickest way to learn about adoption is to visit their website and fill out an adoption application.

Rick joined WCMU as a general assignment reporter in March 2022.