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Rescue beagle puppies arrive in Delaware from Virginia breeding compound

Authorities raided a breeding compound in Cumberland, Virginia last month, rescuing over 4,000 beagles, and 12 of them have now arrived in Delaware looking for new homes.

The 12 puppies, most under six months old, arrived at the Delaware Humane Association’s Wilmington and Delaware SPCA’s Stanton/Christiana Adoption Centers Tuesday, where they felt grass beneath their feet for the first time in their lives.

“They had actually never stepped their paws to grass before," said DHA Senior Marketing Manager Cory Topel. "So it was really exciting. It was beautiful. It was an emotional moment. It was also a really exciting and rewarding one. Just seeing how innocent and pure and thrilled these dogs were to do something as simple as touching their paws to the earth.”

Topel says dozens of federal violations, including lack of food and vet care, resulted in many being injured or left for dead.

“It's a tough story to hear, but it's just the reality of animal rescue," she said. "And these are the stories that we see each and every day.”

Topel says they have dozens of applications already, and once the dogs go through medical assessments and reveal their personalities, they’ll be paired with a compatible home.

“I think having too many applications is a great problem to have," she said. "That means that folks are interested in adopting a pet. And while it might not work out ultimately with one of these beagles, we have countless cats, dogs, other puppies and kittens as well that are sitting both at our Wilmington and Stanton-Christiana adoption centers waiting to find their homes today. Some of which you have been there for months.”

A link to a donation page for the beagle rescue is on DHA and SPCA websites, and anyone who gives $250 or more by 9 p.m. Thursday can submit a puppy name suggestion.

Topel adds the money not only covers their medical care, but supports the Tailroad Express Transport Program so the shelters can travel farther to make life-saving rescues like these beagles from Virginia.

Rachel Sawicki is Delaware Public Media's New Castle County Reporter. They are non-binary and use they/them pronouns.