PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Nearly 4,000 beagles are in the process of being rescued from Envigo RMS LLC's facility in Cumberland, Virginia.
Twenty of the dogs are expected to arrive at the Brandywine Valley SPCA next month.
Officials say the dogs were bred to be sold to laboratories for animal experimentation.
Many of the dogs died or were injured due to what the Department of Justice described as "violations of the animal welfare act."
Government inspectors found that beagles there were being killed instead of receiving veterinary treatment for easily treated conditions; nursing mother beagles were denied food; the food that they did receive contained maggots, mold and feces; and over an eight-week period, 25 beagle puppies died from cold exposure. Other dogs suffered from injuries when they were attacked by other dogs in overcrowded conditions.
"Despite the long day, the puppies perked up and immediately started bounding around their kennels and playing as soon as they settled in," said Jessica Johnson, senior director of the Animal Rescue Team for the Humane Society of the United States. "For these resilient puppies, hopefully their ear tattoos are the only reminders of their past."
Several of the dogs will arrive in our region in about three weeks. Brandywine Valley SPCA is expected to release additional details soon.
Those interested in helping the animals in other parts of the country can learn more here.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.