NEWPORT — The Carteret County Humane Society has taken in 18 beagles rescued from a Gates County research lab closed amid allegations of abuse.
The dogs were among 200 animals rescued Friday from the Professional Laboratory and Research Services Inc. in Corapeake, which is under investigation for animal abuse by the Gates County District Attorney’s Office and the federal Department of Agriculture.
The 14-hour rescue operation involved three-dozen rescue groups from across the East Coast.
According to wire reports, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals released undercover video it said was taken by a volunteer who got a job at the Gates County lab. PETA says the video shows cats, dogs and rabbits living in their own excrement and workers spraying animals with harsh chemicals, trying to rip off a cat’s claws and performing operations with expired sedatives.
When PETA released the video, PLRS President Helen Sonenshine confirmed that the video was taken at the Gates County lab and said that it disgusted and appalled her and that anyone who broke company rules will be fired. The company has not commented since.
The Carteret County Humane Society was among numerous shelters in the state to receive an e-mail appealing for assistance to house some of the animals.
“A couple with a rescue group in Onslow County drove up to Gates County with an air conditioned trailer and brought the dogs back to the shelter Friday night,” said Tiffany Gray, assistant manager of the Carteret County Humane Society.
The dogs, which range in age from about 2 to 7, are getting cleaned up and treated by area vets, and will soon be placed for adoption. There are five males and 13 females.
“Some are going to need a little more rehab than others, but they are in relatively good shape physically,” said Ms. Gray. “They’ve been around humans, but were abused.”
Ms. Gray said volunteers are working with the dogs to get them used to human contact.
“We had two volunteers who have been coming in to walk the dogs,” she said.
The dogs are being housed in a separate building at the shelter until vets check them all out. In the meantime, the shelter has taken on an extra 18 dogs and donations are appreciated to assist with the cost of dog food and care.
“We would welcome any donations of dog food or money,” she said.
Those interested in adopting or seeing the dogs can call the shelter and be placed on a waiting list. For more information, call the Humane Society at 247-7744.