BRIARCLIFF MANOR, NY (PIX11) – SPCA Westchester rescued 10 dogs from a research facility in Virginia on Wednesday.

The dogs are part of a group of 4,000 beagles saved from being sold for medical testing in laboratories.

“This was a massive breeding facility with over 4,000 dogs and they were just being sold off to medical facilities for testing for being used in the labs,” said Shannon Laukhuf, executive director of SPCA Westchester.  

Based on their behavior, it’s hard to imagine that the outgoing and friendly 11-month old puppies were in a much different environment just one day after leaving Envigo, the breeding and research facility in Virginia. Their tails were wagging as they licked the SPCA employees.

An undercover investigation by PETA found deplorable conditions inside; the organization alleges painful medical experiments were conducted on the animals and hundreds of them died. After more than 70 citations for violations, the Department of Justice acted.

The Human Society is coordinating placement for the 4,000 beagles available for adoption across the country. On Wednesday, SPCA Westchester sent a van to transport 10 of them from Virginia to Briarcliff Manor.

“It’s pretty heartwarming for us to see them and to be a part of this journey even watching them enjoy canned dog food and little pieces of cheese and hot dog that they’ve never experienced before,” Laukhuf said.

Many haven’t even played with toys or walked on grass, so the SPCA is taking it slow to prepare all 10 boys for adoption before they make wonderful pets and become part of a family. Not all are ready just yet for human interaction.

“Beagles are such wonderful dogs in general,” Laukhuf added. “They have very sweet and loving natures which may be why that they were used for his purpose in labs, but we’re just really enjoying getting to know them.”

None of the puppies have names either. They were identified by letters tattooed on their earlobes.

As they settle in, the SPCA’s vet will check them out in a few days and they’ll be neutered. The plan is to have them up for adoption by next week.

To find out how you can adopt one of the beautiful beagles or become a foster, send an email to