SOUTH ELGIN, Ill. (WLS) -- Nearly 100 beagles arrived at an animal shelter in South Elgin Tuesday morning.
The dogs, all adult males, were rescued from a facility in Virginia that bred them for medical research. It was found guilty of violating dozens of federal regulations.
"They were doing things like feeding them moldy food, washing crates with dogs in them," said Dean Daubert, chief operating officer at Anderson Humane shelter.
The folks at Anderson Humane shelter said the beagles have been through a lot. Many have never even gone outside.
"They haven't seen grass before," Daubert said. "They've never walked on a leash. They've never sat in somebody's lap."
The shelter was part of a national effort to relocate 4,000 dogs from the facility. Daubert was part of a team that drove to Virginia and rescued nearly 100 dogs, ages 5 months to a year and a half.
"We are at capacity every day here at the shelter and don't have space for 100 beagles," Daubert said, "but we thought what a compelling story and we thought if we get the word out, the community is going to support us. And they have."
WATCH: How rescued beagles are adjusting to life in foster homes
People interested in fostering to adopt the dogs lined up first thing Tuesday morning. Crate by crate, the dogs were loaded into cars heading to their new homes.
Hailey Boehm said she was near tears at the chance to take home Walnut.
"We're going to integrate him after he gets used to being outside, gets used to walking, gets used to being loved on and snuggled because they weren't snuggled or really cared for," she said.
They dogs will receive medical care, and will eventually be available for adoption at ahconnects.org/adopt.
There are a few ways that those interested could help: Sponsor a beagle by visiting www.ahconnects.org/beagles; call 847-697-2880 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org to be added to the list of potential adopters; donate from the dogs' wish list at ahconnects.org/wish-list/.