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Priceless Pets Rescue need help rehoming hundreds of beagles — podcast

by Andrew Alonzo | aalonzo@claremont-courier.com

On Wednesday afternoon, Darya Harris, store manager of Priceless Pets Rescue in Claremont, introduced the COURIER to the local shelter’s newest tenants, nine purebred beagles.

The dogs are part of the group of over 150 beagles that the nonprofit, no-kill shelter recently saved from by a Virginia-based breeding facility being euthanized. The name of the facility is being withheld due to legalities surrounding the rescue mission.

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Two weeks ago, Priceless Pets Rescue directors Lisa Price and Ashlee Sprague contacted the breeding facility regarding the rehoming of 150 beagles housed at the property. The facility was overflowing with the unmistakable brown, black and white dogs after “a laboratory shut down that [the breeders] were providing beagles for,” Harris explained.

The laboratory, the name of which was also withheld, was a testing facility for tick and flea treatments.

“The reason they use beagles is because of how well-mannered they are,” Harris said. “They are the best family dog, they tolerate so much and on the ugly side of that, [the lab] used that to their advantage and they would poke and prod them and test on them … It’s not a comfortable situation.”

Upon shutting down, the laboratory returned the beagles to the breeders. With no use for the dogs, the breeders initially planned to euthanize all 150.

“The breeders did handle these dogs quite a bit in their care, but they will euthanize [them] if they have no need for them, and they were about to do that to 150 beagles,” Harris explained. “So that’s when we jumped into action.”

Last Friday, Price, Sprague and volunteers from Priceless Pets and Kindness Animal Ranch Sanctuary traveled across the country to meet with representatives of the breeding facility at an undisclosed location to pick up the beagles. They loaded the dogs into two horse trailers converted to house kennels, and drove across the country over the course of two days.

Once the beagles arrived at the Priceless Pets’ veterinary clinic in Chino Hills on Monday, they were temporarily housed and made adoption-ready there before being sent to one of three Priceless Pets Rescue adoption centers.

“Every single animal in our facility goes home vaccinated, microchipped and fixed,” Harris said, adding “any other concerns, we also take care of that as well at our own clinic.”

Originally, 13 beagles arrived at the Claremont shelter, but four had already been adopted as of Wednesday afternoon.

“People are really taking to them. We don’t have a lot of beagles out here on this end of the coast so it is actually a unique thing to have this many,” Harris said.

When the dogs arrived in Claremont, each cage was labeled with a ‘T#’ from the original testing facility: T1, T2, and so on. Several, including one named Tortuga, also had blue dye marks visible on their faces, used by the testing lab as a means of identifying them.

While some of the blue markings remained, on Wednesday morning volunteers created their own identification method for the nine remaining beagles, each name beginning with ‘T.’

At as of Wednesday, Talladega, Tiana, Tink, Tilly, Tonya, Tori Tortuga, Trevor and Traveler remained available for adoption for a fee of $500. The beagles are between two and three years old and while some are full of life, others are labeled as ‘shut down’ since they are either depressed or still getting used to their new shelter surroundings.

“Really they need to decompress right now,” Harris said. “The beagles have been amazing so far and really, we’ve had way worse from local surrender. But these guys are so friendly and handleable and they’re so soft.”

As a beagle owner also, this reporter can attest to the breed’s softness and family-friendly nature.

Harris said the newly-arrived beagles would make great family pets, especially for families with young children who want a safe and friendly dog.

“We just want to have those perfect families come in and take them home and make sure they become their true selves, which they will. Once they get a loving home, they always do,” Harris said.

For adoption information visit https://pricelesspetrescue.org/adoptable-dogs. The online adoption page encompasses all three of Priceless Pet’s adoption centers — Chino Hills, Claremont and Costa Mesa — and some beagles are still being entered into the database.

Additional beagles remain at the breeding facility. “We’re probably going to go back because there are more. There are hundreds more that [the breeders] need to get rid of,” Harris said.

While Priceless Pets Rescue is no stranger to big rescue missions such as this one, they are in need of fosters and volunteers to help care for the hundreds of beagles and other rescued and surrendered animals at their facilities.

Donations from the community are also greatly appreciated and go toward feeding and caring for the rescued animals. Priceless Pets Rescue, also known as The Orphanage, is located at 665 E Foothill Blvd. Ste. E in the [Claremont] College Center in Claremont.

For information on how to volunteer or donate, visit https://pricelesspetrescue.org or email info@pricelesspetrescue.org.

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