The 249 dogs and cats that got released from a miserable North Carolina research lab last week thanks to a Peta investigation are looking for homes from New Jersey to Florida. The Animal Welfare Institute quickly organized 54 cats and 195 dogs to shelters and rescue groups up and down the east coast two days after the lab said it would shut down in the wake of Peta’s unwatchably grim video.
The animals were used legally in experiments on flea and heartworm medicines. The video shows workers dragging animals, slamming cage doors on them and openly wishing for their injury. The lab used beagles because they are especially docile. Some shelters are adopting them out right away; others are having them wait and rest after their ordeal.
“They’ve spent years in cages as subjects in experiments in a laboratory accused of horrible animal cruelty. And still they crave human interaction and are happy to discover the simple joys of toys placed in their kennels,” says a report from the Wake County SPCA in Raleigh, NC.
The SPCA says they took more animals than they had the resources for because they were afraid they would be euthanized if they weren’t out of the lab by Friday. Professional Laboratory and Research Services only told the USDA, its putative regulator, that it would shut down on Wednesday. No word on who was going to kill the animals or why, but it meant rescuers had to find 250 rescue spots in two days.
No mater where the animals were from, rescuers would want to spread them around so that they could get the most attention and not overwhelm local resources. But the rescue of 249 terrified pets couldn’t have been made easier by the lab’s location in North Carolina. According to Animal People, the group that tracks shelter statistics, a 27.9% of animals in shelters in NC and 56% in the south Atlantic will be killed.
The lab was in Corapeake, NC, just a few miles from the Virginia border. That’s Gates County, where the situation for animals is so poor, they share the Tri-County Shelter with two other counties. (Here’s the petfinder list). The lab animals didn’t end up here, but many other NC counties pitched in. Corapeake was close to the coast and so are almost all the shelters that took the animals in.
Here’s a list of where you can find the animals, from north to south:
Newark, NJ – Associated Humane: 35 beagles.
Here’s their Petfinder list, though I see mainly pitts, no beagles yet. The woman I spoke with said the dogs are fearful and they want to get them into permanent homes quickly. “The inner city shelter may be one of the most difficult and heartbreaking environments to work in,” Associated Humane, which runs three shelters, says of their Newark branch. 124 Evergreen Avenue, Newark, NJ. M-F, 12-5:30, Weekends 12-5. 973-824-7080 Click here for directions. If you rent, they want a notarized letter saying you can have a dog.
Washington, DC – Washington Animal Rescue League, 20 dogs, 10 cats.
They took in beagles, terriers, mixed shepherds, and basset hound mixes—all laboratory test animals, their blog says. On the same day, they also got pit bulls from an Ohio fighting ring. They have a foster program. 71 Oglethorpe Street, NW Washington, DC Tues-Sat 11-8. Weekends 11-5. (202)726-2556
Norfolk, VA Norfolk SPCA, 31 dogs
The shelter has a great video (below) of their arrival, with lots on tentative tail wags. They may be expecting a rush. They say they will “begin accepting adoption applications for them on Friday, September 24th at 11am.”
916, Ballentine Blvd., Norfolk, VA (757) 622-3319, Open daily 11-5
Virginia Beach, VA VA Beach SPCA
They have a video of dogs arriving at the shelter in kennels in a van, most looking surprisingly happy. Even the shy ones warmed up and started to play, they said.
3040 Holland Road, Virginia Beach, VA (757)427-0070
Chesapeake, VA, Beagles to the Rescue : 4 beagles
They describe chaos at the lab, but very sweet, sad dogs coming out. “Rita Phoenix and Anna Lee Long traveled to the research lab to pick up five dogs. They arrived at about 8 a.m. and had to wait in a parking lot till after 4 p.m. before being allowed to take four dogs back to Virginia,” their site says. They picked up three tri-colored and one lemon female beagles who “behaved as if they had never walked on grass before.” The dogs are in quarantine now and getting used to people: “They are approaching BTTR staff — though in an extremely submissive and sometimes cringing fashion. These girls are approachable and we think they will come around.” (757) 374-0004
Elizabeth City, NC SPCA of Northeast NC: 15 animals
This shelter says that if you want to adopt or foster any of the lab refugees, call Sabrenna or John at 252-338-5222. Or send a donation to: 100 Wilson Street Elizabeth City NC 27909
Greensboro, NC Guilford Co. Animal Shelter,
4525 West Wendover Ave., Greensboro, NC (336)297-5020
North Raleigh, NC, Safe Haven for Cats Cats
10 of the cats are already listed for adoption. 919-872-SAFE (7233)
Raleigh, NC Wake Co. SPCA, 17 cats, 18 dogs
They’ve already posted pictures of the sad-eyed dogs and cats. The rescue took 20 hours and “we took more animals than we planned,” the shelter says, “but there were so many cats and dogs who needed our help, and who still need our help. We weren’t expecting this many animals and need additional resources to care for them.” They estimate the rescue will cost $20,000 and have raised $9,115 so far (Tuesday night). One dog had been experimented on for 10 years. Another is nearly blind. But the SPCA says they’re all still pretty sweet to people: “Animals with good temperaments make desirable research subjects because they are easy to handle and compliant. The same characteristics that made these animals endure years of research are some of the same characteristics that make great companion animals.”
200 Petfinder Lane, Raleigh, NC (919) 772-2326
Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill, NC Triangle Beagle Rescue, 19 beagles
They originally got 36 beagles, but with the help of Cloud 9 Rescue Flights 16 flew to Florida to be adopted out by In Dogs We Trust. “This is the largest one-time rescue TBR has ever undertaken,” the site says. The 19 beagles are now in foster care with beagle experts. The group has regular local adoption events, but doesn’t have a physical shelter. They need more foster homes. They usually doesn’t adopt out of state.
Newport, NC, Cateret Co. Humane
Here’s their Petfinder list. Their area has been hit hard in the recession and they already have to ship dogs up north to save them. This county is on the shore near Cape Lookout National Seashore. 853 Hibbs Road, Newport, NC (252) 247-7744
Wellington, FL (near Palm Beach) In Dogs We Trust: 16 beagles
Cloud 9 Rescue Flights flew the beagles down to Florida. 109 Acme Road, Wellington, FL (561)400-7732
Any of these groups could use a donation. You can also give to the Animal Welfare Institute that coordinated the rescue. Mark your donation “PLRS Rescue”
Read about the Peta investigation
Where to Go See Animals Down South