Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex rescue Envigo beagle Mia


A Virginia rescue dog is now getting the royal treatment.

Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex have adopted 7-year-old Mia, one of 4,000 beagles who were rescued from abusive conditions at an Envigo breeding facility in Cumberland, Virginia. Mia had arrived at the Beagle Freedom Project in Los Angeles last month with eight of her newborn puppies after the rescue operation earlier this summer.

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Shannon Keith, president and founder of the Beagle Freedom Project, said the Duchess’ team reached out and Meghan said she has long supported the nonprofit. After an initial call, Harry and Meghan arranged an in-person visit with mum Mia on July 25 and finalized the adoption this month, Keith said.

“But the minute they walked in, Mia ran towards them wagging her tail,” said Keith, who is also an animal rights lawyer. “It’s like she knows, ‘Oh, these are my people.’ And they were instantly in love with her. I was like, ‘Oh, that’s completely meant to be.’ Because Mia had never done this with anyone else she had met before.

The Beagle Freedom Project posted an article about Mia’s adoption on its website. Spokespersons for the royal couple did not immediately respond to requests for comment from The Washington Post but confirmed their visit to the association to the Los Angeles Times.

Keith said Meghan and the family, which also includes son Archie, 3, and daughter Lilibet, 1, were looking for another dog now that they were settled into their residence in Montecito, CA. Meghan had already adopted another rescue beagle, Guy, before moving in with Harry.

“They specifically wanted to adopt a dog that had an abused and traumatized past,” Keith said. Meghan “knew the story and knew Envigo and wanted to adopt the mother. She made it clear that she didn’t want a puppy – puppies are easy to place. She and her family enjoy adopting hard-to-place dogs.

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Last year, federal investigators uncovered dozens of animal welfare violations at the Virginia facility run by Envigo, an Indianapolis-based company that breeds and sells dogs for testing to the pharmaceutical and pharmaceutical industries. biotechnology. The US Department of Agriculture has raised concerns that dogs at the facility were suffering en masse from “discomfort, lethargy, or stress” due to sweltering temperatures; that the food dispensers were riddled with insects; and that hundreds of puppies had died of “unknown causes” over a seven-month period.

Keith said Beagle Freedom Project took in 25 of the 4,000 beagles at the Cumberland facility, about 50 miles west of Richmond. The Humane Society worked with federal agencies to coordinate the rescue.

“We’ve retired nearly 3,000 beagles from Envigo so far, making this adoption a heartwarming representation of the thousands of new beginnings unfolding for these dogs,” said Kitty Block, president and CEO of Envigo. Humane Society of the United States, in a press release. at the post office.

“We are deeply moved by the many individuals and over 75 shelters and sanctuaries across the country who have already opened their doors to beagles spared a lifetime of suffering in a lab.”

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Jennifer R. Strohm