The beagles rescued from a horrific North Carolina lab aren’t in the Newark shelter anymore. Maybe 20 of the 35 beagles sent to Associated Humane have been adopted. I saw maybe because I’m having a hard time getting much information out of the beleaguered shelter.
Associated Humane, which runs three animals shelters plus the Popcorn Park Zoo (for confiscated illegal exotics) was one of 12 shelters up and down the coast that took in about 200 beagles from a lab that abruptly shut down after Peta released an undercover video of dogs being abused.
When this story first broke, my husband David and I both thought of getting one of these institutionalized dogs that could use some extra TLC. Our dog Jolly, who died a year ago, had spent two years in a shelter. When I first had him he was unfamiliar with meat, toys or playing. Jolly was sometimes he was so scared he’d just lie down in the street and I’d have to pick up this big shepherd mutt and carry him. But he ended up a goofy, happy guy with a ton of human and dog friends. So I thought one of these dogs would be a good fit, one that I could help. Plus–and I know this sounds terrible to hard corps rescuers–a smaller dog would make our life so much easier, from family trips to finding an apartment.
We figured we’d wait till after a trip and till we could both go to Newark to meet the dogs. By then, the easier ones to adopt would’ve been taken, we figured. I’d called Saturday and they confirmed they got 35 beagles and that they were still there. So Sunday we went took a 90-minute trek to Newark shelter, which is off a street behind Newark airport that has a lot of old warehouses and boarded up public housing.
We asked at the desk about the beagles. They said they were all gone. Not adopted, just transferred. They said this shelter only ever had 10 beagles and they’d all been transferred to their Lacey branch in south Jersey.
So much for that.
We looked at their other dogs, which is the usual urban assortment of mainly pits and pit mixes. I particularly liked for a big guy called red, who had a mushy mouth; huge expressive eyes and who could sing. I’d show you a picture, but they don’t let you take pictures.
The staff didn’t talk to me, but they did seem to care about the dogs. A couple weeks after the rescue, Associated Humane put on its user-unfriendly website that it has 35 dogs (plus 6 cats), all beagles, aged one to three. I’d guess that In Defense of Animals, who arranged the rescue, gave them easier (that is, younger) ones since they were an urban shelter. But not only is there absolutely no foot traffic, there’s no easy way to get there from the giant potential adoption base nextdoor, NYC. So I can see why they’d move these beagles into a place where somebody would see them. The Lacey shelter says they have “about 15” of the lab rescue dogs left. I know they’ve got a lot more important things to do, but I wouldn’t mind just a little information here.
I can’t find out much from any of the shelters or rescue groups’s sites or contacts about how the specific adoptions are going. Wake County SPCA does the best job showing off their rescue dogs, but while you can give donation on behalf of individual dogs there, you can’t see which ones you can actually adopt. Just showing their pictures and telling their stories could bring people into the shelter. And I haven’t heard back from IDA about what happened to Clementine, the senior dalmatian who has become the face of the lab. People keep asking online what happened to her, but we just don’t know.
But it may be they are moving through the shelters so quickly they don’t need any special help. They have a heartbreaking story that people respond to, but are there other dogs who need more help? Walk through the Newark shelter–or any urban shelter–are you see the dogs that really need the most homes are pit bulls. The ones in Newark were mostly wiggly, licky, sweet ones.
See if a shelter near you took some of the dogs or cats
Read about the Peta investigation
Where to Go See Animals Down South