Harry and Meghan.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have adopted a new beagle named Mamma Mia, who has a six-letter serial numbers tattooed on the inside of her ears and was rescued from an overcrowded research plant in Virginia.
Animal rights attorney Shannon Keith, who runs the Beagle Freedom Project, told The Los Angeles Times on Wednesday that Meghan “called [her] personally” about adopting the seven-year-old dog.
“She calls on my cell with no Caller ID and says, ‘Hey Shannon, this is Meghan,’” Keith explained. “We talked for 30 minutes, and I thought, ‘Is this Megan Fox?’”
However, she ultimately realised that it was actually the Duchess of Sussex, who met the dog with Harry at the Valley Village house, which is where Keith’s non-profit organisation is based.
“The duchess is holding Mia and was like, ‘We’re adopting her,’” Keith explained. “She was like ‘No, we don’t want a Christmas puppy. … We want ones we can help who are older.’”
Before deciding to adopt Mia, Harry and Meghan played with eight newborn puppies from Maryland, who had also been rescued from the Envigo breeding and research plant.
However, before leaving with their new pet, Keith said that Harry decided to go back into the Valley Viallage house to get something for Mia.
“He’s just like, ‘Well, we can’t leave yet because there’s something in that back house she needs. Does she have a favorite toy or something?’” Keith said.
Harry opened a box of toys for Mia to search through, before she found a stuffed fox, which she had played with on her drive from Maryland to California. The royal then said: “OK, now we can go home”.
A spokeswoman for the couple confirmed their visit to Valley Village to The LA Times, but the pair didn’t make a comment about the adoption. There weren’t any photos taken of the visit, as Harry and Meghan were accompanied by two security guards.
Meghan’s spokeswoman also said that she’s wanted to rescue a beagle for years and that when she heard about Envigo being shut down, she wanted to help. The royal also knew that she wanted an older dog, as it can be easier for puppies to find safe homes.
Mia was only one of the 4,000 beagles who were rescued from the breeding facility, which was known for suppling beagles for medical and other research purposes and was ultimately closed after being slapped with multiple lawsuits
The beagles have continued to be moved to different shelters and groups, including Keith’s Beagle Freedom Project, which places dogs into safe fosters houses until they find a permanent home.
As reported by CNN, more than 70 animal welfare violations were reported at the breeding facility after a series of inspections over nine months. More than 300 beagle puppies died at the facility between January and July last year, court documents showed.
The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and Department Justice released a statement in July about moving the beagles out of the facility.
“At this time, we are connecting with our shelter and rescue partners and preparing to take on the monumental process of securing placement for these dogs,” the statement reads. “Now that the Court has approved the joint transfer plan, we and our partners are preparing to move quickly to place these beagles in loving homes.”
TV presenter Gayle King revealed that Prince Harry has spoken to William and Charles, but ‘conversations were not productive.’ The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are still very upset with ‘false stories’ that are ‘disparaging’ against Meghan, she said.
Harry said, “There were no distractions, and that was great, it was an amazing thing. We went from zero to 60 in the first two months.”
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex spent an hour at the school, with Meghan reading her children’s book 'The Bench' to a group of second-grade students. Footage from the filmed visit was included in their 2022 Netflix docuseries 'Harry and Meghan.'
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