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Thousands of dogs rescued from Virginia breeding facility could soon be sent to shelters for adoption

A judge approved a plan Tuesday that would require the facility to pay to help shelters cover the cost of taking in the dogs.

CUMBERLAND COUNTY, Va. — A federal judge has approved a plan to take thousands of dogs from a Virginia breeding facility in order to place them in shelters so that the animals may be adopted by loving families. 

WUSA9 first reported on the allegations against the Envigo breeding and research facility in Cumberland, Virginia on April 1. The company is contracted to breed dogs for the purpose of research and scientific experiments - regulated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). 

Federal officials have spent months accusing the company of a series of animal welfare violations. Investigators claim the facility performed unnecessarily painful medical experiments on dogs and puppies, including euthanasia without sedatives.

U.S. Senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine (both D-VA) claimed in April that medical records indicated that nearly 200 dogs were euthanized and many were not provided any anesthetic, which goes against the recommendation of the American Veterinary Medical Association. 

On Friday, Envigo and the government jointly filed a transfer plan that called for the removal of “all” of the facility's beagles by the Humane Society of the United States, which will transport the dogs to shelters where they can be adopted. 

While hundreds of dogs determined to be in “acute distress” had already been seized from the facility, court documents show that the plan calls for about 4,000 dogs currently housed at Envigo to be taken to shelters to be adopted.

According to court documents, Judge Norman Moon calls for Envigo to pay $100 per dog, and $150 per dog nursing a litter younger than 8 weeks, to help defray the costs to the shelters preparing the dogs for adoption.

There is no word on which shelters the dogs would be taken to at this time. 

RELATED: 

WATCH NEXT: Virginia governor signs bills prohibiting sale of dogs or cats for experimental purposes

The legislation comes after reports of animal welfare violations at a breeding and research facility in Cumberland.

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