ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) — Just two days after 64 beagles rescued from the Envigo breeding facility arrived in Roanoke, Angels of Assisi announced that these pooches are not only getting more comfortable, but the first nursing mama dog and her puppy have gone into their foster home.

According to the shelter, the mama and her baby — named Reba and Rocky — are quickly setting into their new home after being microchipped, dewormed, and vaccinated. In addition, Angels of Assisi says Reba underwent a fully panel of blood work since her estimated age is at least six years old.

“This is their first time living in a home environment, so there is so much they have never experienced. It is incredible to see them be able to be ‘normal’ dogs,” Angels of Assisi wrote on Facebook on Thursday, July 28. “We are so thankful for patient foster families like theirs who are willing to work with them and give them the decompression time they so desperately need.”

This news comes after Judge Norman K. Moon with the Lynchburg Division of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Virginia approved a plan earlier this month to transfer all 4,000 remaining beagles from the Cumberland County medical dog-breeding facility — which was forced to stop breeding and selling dogs and close its doors after numerous animal welfare violations — to shelters for adoption.

Meanwhile, on Wednesday, July 27, Angels of Assisi announced that the other beagles it took in were decompressing and learning what it feels like to be in a safe environment.

Patience is a must with any animal who has faced abuse or neglect, and we are constantly amazed by the resiliency of these animals. They were very shy and unsure at first, but they are slowly beginning to trust and accept love.

They have been kept in cages with concrete floors their whole life and are getting to feel what it is like to walk on grass for the first time. Their reactions are priceless and heartwarming to see. The puppies are finally getting to be puppies, and we are so thankful they only had to endure their past life for a short period of time.

Statement posted on Facebook on July 27, 2022 by Angels of Assisi

Angels of Assisi says it still needs foster families for these beagles, so if you are interesting in welcoming a nursing mama dog and her puppies into your home, you are asked to contact Dayna Reynolds at

Even if you can’t be a foster parent, the shelter says that these sweet dogs still need lots of love and care — especially medical care, such as spaying/neutering, testing for heartworm/tickborne disease, vaccinations, and dental cleanings — after living through so much neglect and abuse.

If you would like to help cover the cost of those treatments, you can donate to Angels of Assisi’s Biscuit Fund.

Between the shelter’s four Facebook posts about the beagles’ arrival, donors have raised a total of $7,980 to support these dogs.