HENRICO COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) – After 4,000 beagles were successfully removed from an Envigo-owned breeding facility in Cumberland County, which was exposed for numerous animal welfare violations, finding homes for the newly released dogs has become a top concern for many animal rights activists and care providers.
The beagles were made available for adoption in small batches from places like Richmond Animal Care and Control (RAC). Henrico County’s David Lane saved his own Envigo Beagle pup from RACC. 8News visited the three-month-old pup at Dorey Park on Thursday.
“She’s a fighter.” Lane said.
The proud owner smiled as he watched his pup CiCi – as in Captain Cuddles – run around the dog park.
Escape from the Envigo breeding facility was just the beginning of several challenges being hurled at the beagle pup.
Within weeks of being adopted, CiCi was diagnosed with parvo, a potentially deadly virus. Lane and his girlfriend placed the dog in the hands of zoo keepers who nursed her back to health before the little dog overcame another obstacle.
“That’s why we call her a superhero, Captain Cuddles,” Lane said.
CiCi is finally living a healthy life as a member of a family. She loves running through grass, playing with other animals and cuddling with her new parents.
Lane told 8News that Cici’s journey from the breeding facility to a Henrico home was surprisingly smooth.
Pet care experts warn owners that dogs that have experienced turbulent relationships with humans often show traits of anxiety, distrust, and fear.
Luckily, CiCi was rescued from the harmful environment of the Cumberland kennel during her formative years as a newborn puppy. Many older dogs that have lived more of their lives in Envigo cages may have a harder time adjusting to life as pets.
“She hasn’t shown any signs of trauma or anything,” Lane said.
According to Lane, CiCi’s attribution as a “superhero” comes from more than one source. While she has already overcome many obstacles, Lane said she has also helped many dogs in need, whether she knows it or not.
Lane’s experience with CiCi inspired him to use his nonprofit Geek Wellness Education to partner with other organizations to provide food and resources to homeless dogs.
“She will continue to help people and dogs, and we will continue to have fun,” Lane said. “She’s part of the family now and we love her dearly.”
More Envigo Beagles will be made available for adoption. For intake updates, visit the RACC’s Facebook page.