WILLIAMSBURG — Local shelter Homes Fur Hounds will be taking in beagles from the recently shut down Envigo breeding facility in Cumberland, Virginia.
The Department of Justice and the Humane Society of the United States rescued some 4,000 beagles from the breeding and research facility after federal officials found evidence of neglect and maltreatment.
Homes Fur Hounds is an animal rescue located in Williamsburg that specializes in finding animals their forever home. The shelter’s mission is to help stop the unnecessary killing of animals through educating the public on the importance of spaying, neutering, heartworm preventive and general health care, as well as helping finding solutions to conflicts between owners and pets.
By helping them find solutions, they keep the animals out of the county pounds and from being abandoned.
“We’re a really small rescue group, the most we’ve taken in at one time before was 15 dogs. So right now, I think we’re taking in 30 with this first group coming in,” Deanna Cosby, President of Homes Fur Hounds, Inc. said. “Once we get them into our vet and into foster homes, spayed and neutered, get their vet care — we have so much interest in adoptions a lot of those will get adopted within that first month. So we’ve already offered to take another group in as soon as those are adopted.”
The adoption process with Homes Fur Hounds is a carefully cultivated and thought out procedure designed to ensure the happiness of both the home and the pet. After a prospective family fills out an application online, Homes Fur Hounds will do a check in with the prospective vet to check in on the family’s history and care of any previous pets they might have had. Once that has been verified there will be a home inspection to make sure the environment is suitable for the animal. The final step is a meeting between the family and the animal who has been staying with a foster family up to this point.
“Especially with these dogs, it’s going to be a lot more difficult [matching homes]. We try to match the dog with the applicant so even if someone looks on paper like they would make a really good home for a dog they might not make a really good home for that dog they are applying for,” said Cosby.
“Some of the dogs really, really need another dog in the house to really set an example of what it’s like to live as a dog and how to behave like a dog. And this group is probably going to be that type of dog. Where they’re really going to need to have another dog in the house,” she explained. “These dogs will probably also require a fenced yard. They’ve never walked on a leash before and so it’s difficult for them, they don’t want to be that close to people when they’re trying to do their business outside. And so it’s difficult to give them to someone who can only walk them on a leash.”
In addition to the increased number of dogs to the shelter, there is also an greater need for supplies. During its customer appreciation week (July 18-23), Sno-to-Go is taking donations for desired items. Pet Supplies Plus in Williamsburg is also lending a paw, running a “Fill the Cart” campaign to obtain items needed for the shelter.
“We need pee pads, and we do need chew toys for puppies. We also need martingale collars and puppy blankets,” said Cosby. “We give out blankets with the adoption as well as some toys. These dogs will never have played with toys before, especially the adults we take in. But the puppies we want to learn to be puppies while they’re here so we really want to start them right away working with toys and the baby blanket.”
That need does not extend to food as Homes Fur Hounds already receives help from The Nautical Dog and Pet Supplies Plus to ensure its animals are fed and well cared for. Puppy treats, however, are appreciated with the number of young pups the shelter is possibly going to receive, as well as expectant mothers.
Those who wish to help can also make purchases on Amazon for the shelter through Amazon Smile.
“We want to thank everyone in the community,” Cosby said. “Just the outpouring of people locally wanting to help and foster has been wonderful.”
For those who wish to adopt, it is advised by Cosby to hold off on applications for now. Any perspective families who wish to adopt should wait for the Homes Fur Hounds Facebook live where they will show off all of the animals they received. Currently, there is no set date when the shelter will be receiving the dogs, but the shelter believes they should arrive in August.
Those seeking more information about the adoption process or to make a monetary donation can do so on the Homes Fur Hounds website.