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Dog who ‘spent 8 lonely years’ in cage transforms into smiling pet after rescue

A beagle named Samson who spent the first eight years of his life inside a steel cage has finally had his first taste of freedom.

The adorable pooch now lives with a loving family after previously being surrounded by 5,000 other beagles at a “dog factory farm”.

He had been kept inside a cage at Envigo, an international dog breeding facility.

But an undercover PETA investigation at the Envigo facility in Cumberland, Virginia, recently revealed the plight of the dogs there.

The investigation shockingly claimed to have found more than 360 dead puppies at the facility that supplies beagles to labs for use in experiments.

Some were allegedly crushed by their mothers in cramped cages while others had been “left to rot” alongside their surviving siblings.

It was also claimed that Samson and other canines didn’t have names and instead had six-letter tattoos on their ears.

And according to PETA, Samson needed urgent treatment for an ear infection when he was rescued and they said he also had blood in his urine and over a dozen diseased teeth.

They added that Samson remains traumatised and often suffers vivid dreams where he wakes up barking but he is now settling into his more comfortable life.

PETA Senior Vice President, Daphna Nachminovitch, said: “Samson got away from Envigo’s barren cages and experiments but thousands of other dogs are still held captive inside that hideous beagle prison.

“Every one of these wonderful dogs feels fear, pain, and loneliness just like the dogs who share our homes, and none of them should suffer in the experimentation business.”

Samson is believed to have sirred hundreds of puppies during his time at the facility.

Envigo said they have launched its own investigation into the accusations made – but said some of PETA’s allegations were misleading.

Thankfully Samson is now said to be learning to play with other dogs, sniff new smells, observe squirrels and birds and he also enjoys binge-watching TV shows on the sofa with his new family.

After the investigation into how Samson and others are treated at the facility, PETA’s Mimi Bekhechi said: “If the puppies at Envigo survive the trauma of being born into a barren cage, blasted with a high-pressure hose, and the painful procedure they’re subjected to, more horrors await them at the laboratories they’re sold to.”

And the PETA Vice President of International Programmes added that if anyone not wearing a white lab coat experimented with dogs in this way they would be “rightly put behind bars”.

In response to the allegations, an Envigo statement read: “PETA has made several accusations regarding our canine breeding facility and some of our staff.

“Many of these allegations we know to be misleading and lacking important context. However, any allegations towards our staff or our company are taken seriously, and we have launched an investigation to assess whether any improper actions occurred with the facility.

“Envigo has recently participated in two separate USDA inspections at our Cumberland site. We are incorporating the feedback from these visits into operational enhancements already underway. As part of our mission for continuous improvement, the company has invested more than $3 million over the past five years in extensive upgrades and facility improvements to our Cumberland location, which include a new outdoor play area, a new heating system, upgrading enclosure panels, new digital radiography equipment, and upgrades to whelping (birthing) enclosures. The highest quality of animal welfare is a core value of our company and is central to our business.

“Our mission at Envigo is to help our customers realize the full potential of their scientific and medical research, which ultimately contributes to significant improvements in the lives of both humans and animals. The use of animals in this critical research is essential for developing lifesaving medicines, medical devices and biologics, such as vaccines. For example, Envigo’s animals played an integral role in the development of advanced pacemakers for heart patients as well as in critical research into Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis (MS).

“We remain steadfast in our commitment to advancing this important work and operating to the highest professional standards.”

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