KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — 20 dogs from a mass-breeding facility in Virginia are now being sheltered in an East Tennessee facility.

The Young-Williams Animal Center has accepted 20 dogs into the facility after a Virginia facility shut down for multiple animal welfare violations under federal regulations.

The 20 dogs are part of the historic operation for the animal center because of its scope and size. The organization coordinated to remove over 4,000 beagles over a 60-day period from the Envigo facility in Cumberland, Virginia, that bred dogs to be sold to labs for animal experimentation.

According to the release, the federal inspections revealed that the company violated the Animal Welfare Act, including finding that some dogs were euthanized without receiving anesthesia, received inadequate veterinary care and insufficient food, and lived in unsanitary conditions.

The beagles arrived Tuesday, Aug. 9, and went through some health evaluations. They are being placed in emergency foster homes until the dogs are ready for adoption.

“The dogs made it safely to our shelter and are being paired with fosters, who will provide the extra care and attention they need as they acclimate to life outside of a breeding facility,” says Janet Testerman, CEO of Young-Williams Animal Center. “So many resources are needed to welcome rescues, and we appreciate the community’s commitment to animal welfare at home and across the country. With the assistance of our foster families, we can open up space to care for the animals. As the official shelter for the City of Knoxville and Knox County, we have new arrivals daily.”

Young-Williams Animale Center is asking the community to help support the shelter’s efforts by donating to, in person at either shelter location or mail a check to Young-Williams Animal Center, 3201 Division St., Knoxville, TN 37919.

“It takes a massive network of compassionate, expert shelters and rescues to make an operation of this scale possible,” said Lindsay Hamrick, shelter outreach and engagement director for the Humane Society of the United States. “We are deeply grateful to each organization that is stepping up to find these dogs the loving homes they so deserve.”

More than 200 pets are available for adoption, nearly 400 currently are in foster care, and Young-Williams Animal Center receives dozens more each day. Browse the adoptable animals at and meet them in-person at 3201 Division St., or 6400 Kingston Pike.