Envigo allowed to sell dogs while closing its doors

Published 8:30 am Wednesday, June 22, 2022

In light of Envigo soon closing its doors for good, the controversial Cumberland County breeding facility is being allowed to sell approximately 500 dogs.

On June 17, Senior U.S. District Court Judge Norman K. Moon granted the U.S. Department of Justice’s request for a preliminary injunction in its civil case against Envigo RMS LLC. However, Moon will allow Envigo to sell around 500 dogs to other facilities.

This process started in May when the DOJ filed a lawsuit for a civil complaint against Envigo, a facility that breeds and sells animals for scientific research. On Thursday, May 19, Moon issued a temporary restraining order stopping Envigo from doing any more work for 14 days while investigations were taking place and for a decision to be made by Moon. Since there was still discussion over a decision, Envigo and the DOJ had the order extended until Saturday, June 18.

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On Monday, June 13, Envigo’s parent company, Inotiv, announced that it would close the facility less than a year after acquiring it in November.

“The required investments to improve the facility and the lead time to achieve these improvements have recently increased,” Robert Leasure Jr., Inotiv’s president and chief executive officer, stated in the closing announcement. “As a result, we have decided we will not be investing further in this facility, and it will be closed.”

Inotiv deciding to close the facility left the last loose end of taking care of the dogs. The DOJ’s lawsuit sought to prohibit the sale of any more animals from the facility due to the inhumane conditions found in violation of the Animal Welfare Act (AWA). Moon’s order allows the sale of dogs that were already in a contract to be sold before the temporary restraining order, allowing Envigo to fulfill its existing contracts while closing its doors.

“While extraordinary relief is warranted to address [Envigo’s] failure to meet its obligations under the AWA and to protect the animals at the Cumberland facility from further harm, equitable considerations do not justify an order that would prevent [Envigo] from fulfilling its existing contracts,” Moon stated in the order. “Accordingly, a preliminary injunction will issue, and it will include each item of relief requested by the Government, except that [Envigo] will be permitted to fulfill its existing contracts.”

According to PETA Senior Vice President of Cruelty Investigations Daphna Nachminovitch, of the estimated 4,000 dogs at the start of the investigation, roughly 846 have been rescued so far from the facility with around 3,200 still at the facility. A decision will be made for the remaining dogs in the coming weeks.