This little boy, named Frank, explores his new home at Responsible Pet Care Sunday, Sep. 4 having just arrived after a day of traveling from from Maryland to Maine. A.M. Sheehan

STATE — Ten animal welfare organizations across the state have collaborated with the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) to receive 100 beagles to Maine as part of the historic removal of beagles from a mass-breeding facility in Virginia. This flight to Maine will mark the final transfer of the last remaining beagles from the facility to animal shelter partners for adoption.

Organizations participating in this partnership include Animal Refuge League of Greater Portland (Westbrook), Animal Welfare Society (Kennebunk), Franklin County Humane Society (Farmington), Greater Androscoggin Humane Society (Lewiston), Humane Society Waterville Area (Waterville), Kennebec Valley Humane Society (Augusta), PAWS Animal Adoption Center (Camden), Pope Memorial Humane Society (Thomaston), Responsible Pet Care of Oxford Hills (South Paris), and Tall Tails Beagle Rescue (Mechanic Falls).

Responsible Pet Care in Paris welcomed six little guys late Sunday afternoon. The dogs are all male.

“All of the participating shelters and rescues followed in a caravan to the jetport,” describes Pat Ingersoll, RPC canine director, “and entered the tarmac to greet the 100 beagles on the flight as they were lowered onto the ground via a conveyor.

“Everyone was gowned and gloved as they located the kennels that were marked with the dogs that were designated to their rescue.

“The process was well organized and all of the beagles were loaded into their shelters’ vans quickly.”


Not camera shy, Frank checks things out. A.M. Sheehan

HSUS coordinated the removal of approximately 4,000 beagles housed at an Envigo RMS LLC facility in Cumberland, VA which bred dogs to be sold to laboratories for animal experimentation.

“It takes a massive network of compassionate, expert shelters and rescues to make an operation of this scale possible,” said Lindsay Hamrick, shelter outreach and engagement director for the Humane Society of the United States. “We are deeply grateful to each organization that is stepping up to find these dogs the loving homes they so deserve.”

The transfer plan was submitted by the Department of Justice and Envigo RMS LLC, with the agreement of the HSUS to assume the responsibility of coordinating placement. The transfer plan has taken place in stages over the past 60 days.

Wings of Rescue (WOR), a national pet transport nonprofit, flew 100 beagles from an HSUS temporary shelter in Maryland to Northeast Air in Portland, Sunday, Sep. 4.

“It is our privilege to be providing the air-transport component of this life-saving beagle-rescue flight,” said Ric Browde, CEO of Wings of Rescue. “Working with HSUS and the many Maine shelter and rescue groups involved, we know these pets will now be well cared for and that there will be a truly happy ending to an otherwise very sad story.”

The beagles who arrived at their Maine shelter destinations will remain under a state-required two-week quarantine while shelter teams assess their medical and behavioral needs, prior to adoption placements. Anyone interested in adopting, please complete RPC’s Adoption Application which can be found at



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