'They were found in some pretty bad conditions': Rescued beagles need foster homes
Anderson Humane is racing to line up foster homes for 100 rescued beagles that it will bring to its South Elgin shelter next week.
Roughly 4,000 beagles were rescued in late July by the Humane Society of the United States from Envigo, a breeding facility in Virginia. A federal judge had recently approved the rescue after U.S. Department of Agriculture officials found dozens of federal regulation violations, resulting in dogs being ill, injured, underfed and, in some cases, dead.
Dean Daubert, Anderson Humane's chief operations officer, said dogs were bred at the facility for scientific research as well as makeup and medical testing.
"They were found in some pretty bad conditions," he said.
The Humane Society of the United States reached out to Anderson, which is at capacity at its shelter, to see what they could do.
"When they contacted our leadership team here, we initially thought we could take 25 or 30 of these guys," Daubert said. "But then we figured with public support, we can get these guys fostered, and we could commit to 100, which is quite a few."
Anderson has over 500 animals in their population, about half of which are in foster homes. The other half are at adoption centers in South Elgin, Bloomingdale and North Aurora.
"The only way we can take on this many of the beagles is if we put them in foster homes right away," he said.
"It's the right thing to do to help give these animals who haven't had much of a life a good rest of their life."
Anderson officials have roughly half as many foster applications as they would like. They're aiming for over 200 applicants, knowing some people may choose not to do it after going through an introductory process.
Daubert said there are many unknowns about the condition and temperament of the animals, though beagles are chosen for testing because they're generally friendly.
"These animals aren't your typical dog that's been in a home in the past," he said. "They don't know what a home environment is. Some of them may or may not have even been outside before."
He said they might need some socialization work. They most likely won't be potty trained. Anderson will help educate foster families on both issues.
"I think these guys are going to have healthy, happy lives," Daubert said. "It's just going to take a little bit of effort by whoever adopts them to get them acclimated to life outside an institution."
All the dogs, which range in age from puppies to seniors, are available for adoption. But Anderson is doing a "foster to adopt" program so they can take care of any medical needs the dogs may need and have them spayed or neutered in the coming weeks as they acclimate.
Those interested in fostering the beagles, or other animals in need of a temporary home, can visit ahconnects.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org. The application review process usually takes about 24 hours.