Beagle CNDCMB, pictured above, was born at an Envigo breeding facility in Cumberland, VA. He, and all his siblings, cousins, aunts, and uncles were bred for one purpose, to be sold and used in laboratory testing. He is one of 4,000 lucky dogs that will now get a chance at a life in a loving home. Many of his relatives, and other dogs and puppies from the facility, never got that chance, either dying shortly after birth, bred twice a year, every year, until their deaths, or sold to facilities where their lives would be short and miserable as they were experimented on for the sake of product development and medical testing. CNDCMB, thanks to a PETA investigation, is now free, and for the first time in his life, he felt grass and dirt beneath his paws, and the loving embrace and touch of humans who care for him even though they just met him. The best is yet to come, but it was a long journey to get here.
CNDCMB was taken from Envigo and brought to an HSUS warehouse with a secret location. There, he and hundreds of other dogs have already started their lives at the hands of caring humans. CNDCMB and 32 other beagles were picked up Monday morning by two representatives of Monadnock Humane Society, Director of Development and Marketing, Jacques Du Preez, and his wife, Steph Du Preez Certified Dog Behavior Consultant. They had spent the previous afternoon organizing the shelter’s transport van so that the kennels were secure, all doors were accessible, waters would be reachable and unlikely to be spilled, and MHS Humane Agent, Beth Doyle had made sure the dogs would have cozy bedding for their ride home and enough kennels to house the new arrivals. Jacques and Steph’s three year old daughter climbed through the van, asking questions about the dogs they would be picking up, helping hand straps to her father, and wondering if any of the beagles would be coming to their house, as their 6 month old son slept nearby in his car seat. It would be their first time leaving the newest member of their family, but to take part in bringing the Envigo beagles to their new lives, they were willing to leave part of their hearts behind and start their journey.
CNDCMB was carried to the transport van by an HSUS volunteer wearing full PPE, caring for a hundred plus beagles was dirty work. The volunteers smiled as they passed the dogs up into the van. Sibling pairs got to ride together, 2 or 3 to a kennel. The beagles were unusually quiet for dogs in a new and unfamiliar environment. Some were frightened, and went to the back of their kennels and hunkered down. All wagged their tails at human touch, and looked up with big brown eyes as they were transferred from one person to another before being placed in their kennels for the 8 hour ride home. Jacques pulled up CNDCMB’s left ear. Beagles ears are gorgeous, long, velvety things, especially when they are puppies, often dangling so low they end up in food and water bowls. He sucked in air and cursed as he looked at the large, green tattoo in CNDCMB’s ear. It was his livestock ID, the way that all these beagles are logged and processed. A permanent mark of what his life was supposed to be, but thankfully, isn’t.
Waters filled, paperwork received, beagles settled in and loved, cooed over, sang to by Steph as she pulled out chewed up puppy pads, they were finally ready to start their ride North to New Hampshire. The dogs were amazingly quiet as the journey got underway. Dog transports are usually noisy, boisterous, smelly, and anxious rides for the dogs, but CNDCMB and his companions were quiet. They were used to being crated, they had been on hard flooring since birth until their arrival at HSUS. They now had cozy pillow cases to rest on, and their siblings to snuggle up with. A few of the pups got car sick, which was quickly cleaned and new bedding inserted into their kennels. Kind words were spoken, heads were stroked, waters refilled as needed. The pups spent the majority of the 8 hours sleeping in puppy piles. There were the occasional barks as someone stepped on a sleeping sibling, one puppy softly boofed a few times in his sleep, but they were content, cozy, and happy.
After a long day of life on the road, CNDCMB and the rest of the beagles finally pulled in at Monadnock Humane Society in Swanzey, NH. They were offloaded one by one, ear tattoos checked against paperwork as they were passed off to the three other shelters that had come to pick up some of the dogs. Finally, it was CNDCMB’s turn. It was his turn, and the turn of his 11 puppy friends, to set their paws on grass, and run free in a yard for likely the first time in their entire lives. The crowd that had gathered to help with their arrival, Kathy Collingsworth the Executive Director for MHS and her husband, Emily Kerylow the Director of Operations for MHS, her husband and two kids, MHS Board Member, Sharon Wratchford, the State Representative from HSUS Kurt Ehrenberg, and members of the press walked over to Fenway Bark, one of the shelters fenced in yards each carrying a puppy, to witness this monumental event in CNDCMB’s life.
They entered the yard, and did normal dog things, though a bit cautiously. They voided their bladders, they circle sniffed each other. They bonked the long tufts of grass with their noses, stepped back cautiously, and bonked the grass again. They relaxed, they started to play and run. They snuggled in human laps, people sitting in the grass, with piles of beagle puppies climbing on them. At one point, they got going, running in laps chasing each other round and round the large yard, the humans watched, laughing, overcome with emotion at the joy of watching these dogs, be dogs, and all that that would mean for them.
CNDCMB finally tired out, was moved to a communal kennel with 5 other beagles, where they had their dinners and were tucked into bed. They are safe. They will never have to have their eyes burned by testing cosmetic products, forced to ingest poisons while scientists with clipboards make notes of fatal doses. They will get to live life on sofas, in front of fireplaces, romping through long grass in summer, deep snow in winter. They will know what it is like to be loved, cared for, and cherished for the rest of their lives. The life that all dogs deserve. Someday soon, he will no longer be CNDCMB, he will have a name, Buddy, or Pickles, or Bob. Whatever it may be, it will be his. He is now free.