The Duke and Duchess of Sussex reportedly had their eyes on an older dog instead of a pup
A senior beagle is now living happily ever after a difficult life of abuse in a Virginia breeding facility.
Mama Mia, a 7-year-old beagle rescue, was among the approximately 4,000 dogs rescued from the Envigo facility in July.
The Cumberland, Virginia, facility was accused of multiple ethics violations by federal agencies after dogs were found injured, underfed, and sick. Animal rights activists claim the dogs were abused in the name of medical research.
“They would take food while [Mama Mia] was breastfeeding and put it right outside of her cage so she could see it and smell it but she could not get to it,” Beagle Freedom Project founder Shannon Keith told Yahoo.
“They did that to starve her and her puppies to see the effect of mastitis,” Keith added. “Her puppies died as a result. They tortured her and they tortured her puppies.”
But Mama Mia’s luck changed when she met Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, who contacted the Beagle Rescue Project about adopting an elderly dog.
“Mama Mia ran to them and we had never seen her do that with anyone before,” Keith recounted. “She just knew that this was her people.”
“Prince Harry sat on the couch, and she ran to him and put her paws on his knees. Her tail was wagging a million miles a minute,” she added.
Keith told KTTV that during the initial phone call, she had no idea she was speaking to the Duchess of Sussex.
“I didn’t know who it was. She was saying she’s been supporting Beagle Freedom Project for years and now that her family is settled here in Montecito they were ready to adopt.”
Beagles are attractive to researchers because they are a loyal and docile breed.
“They actually told me on my very first rescue, they said we choose them because they’re forgiving,” Keith explained.
“After we test on them, they trust us and they let us do it all over again,” Keith said of the inhumane testing done on the dogs.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex left royal duties begging in 2020 over what they described as the British media’s intrusions and racist attitudes toward the former “Suits” star.
Their two children, Archie and Lilibet, now live in Montecito, California.