BOSTON (WHDH) - Heartbreaking video shows dogs crammed into cages in a Virginia research facility.

Federal investigators say they found these beagles suffering from neglect and abuse.

The dogs were bred with the goal of selling them for medical research.

“it’s just incredibly sad to think about these wonderful dogs we’ve met having to endure these conditions and the lack of care and attention they deserve and to think they were destined to go to labratories to be tested on and ultimately euthanized,” Michael Keiley, the MSPCA’s director of Adoption Centers and Programs, said.

But these beagles just got a new leash on life!

The Humane Society is working to get 4,000 beagles out of that facility and into new, loving homes.

“It’s an undertaking that is huge. With all hands on deck but it all hands for these animals, these beautiful animals to have a new life,” Kitty Block, President and CEO of Humane Society of the U.S, said.

“This is historic. I’ve been doing this work for 28 years and we’ve seen really challenging situations but I can’t wrap my brain around 4,000 dogs all coming in at once. It is so massive,” Keiley said.

MSPCA staff already brought this batch of puppies to Massachusetts.  They expect about one hundred beagles to come to the Baystate in this rescue mission. 

“Dogs are used for a variety of research purposes. Used to study heart disease, eye disease, drug toxicity. Beagles in particular are very commonly used and it’s because they are small, so you can fit a lot in a building and because they are very docile.” Elizabeth Magner said, an MSPCA Animal Advocacy Specialist.

According to the US Department of Agriculture, Massachusetts research facilities use about 9,000 dogs for testing- more than any other state. The majority of them are beagles.

“They’re incredibly loving and affectionate and trusting animals and those traits sadly work against them in a research setting,” Magner said.

On Beacon Hill lawmakers want to make sure these dogs end up with loving families.

They passed the BEAGLE BILL – and the governor signed it last week.

The new law requires all research and testing facilities in Massachusetts to find adopted homes for dogs and cats used in research.

Right now many of the animals are euthanized when the scientific work is done.

“When we see these dogs interacting in homes its just reinforces that these animals deserve more than what they’ve been getting and don’t deserve to be treated the way they have been,” Keiley said.

If you’d like to adopt one of these rescued beagles, go to this link from the Northeast Animal Shelter in Salem, or go to this link from the MSPCA in Boston.

More beagles will be available for adoption in two weeks, so follow the steps to try to bring one of these animals home.

To find out how you can help, go here.

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