If you've ever had a beagle as a family member, you probably know just how sweet and docile these dogs can be.

In June, the Atlanta Humane Society in Georgia initially took in 27 beagles after they were transferred into the organization's care by the Humane Society of the United States. Later that month, Atlanta Humane took in 24 more beagles. The dogs ranged in age from puppies to adults around 7 years old.

While that may seem like a whole lot of dogs to handle all at once, Atlanta Humane was well prepared for them.

"We have an animal protection unit and often take in animals of this quantity," said Christina Miller, Associate Vice President of Marketing and Communications for the Atlanta Humane Society. "We take in animals from cruelty cases, neglect cases and disasters, so our team is used to it. When there's an emergency or a critical need, they're able to respond to these situations very quickly."

It also helped that many of the beagles were immediately placed in temporary homes. "We have an incredible foster network," Christina said.

VCA Steps up to Treat Dental Issues

Although Atlanta Humane could handle the beagles' medical and behavioral care, they didn't have the resources to take care of the dogs' serious dental issues. So they reached out to VCA Animal Hospitals, which has been in a shelter partnership with Atlanta Humane for over a decade.

Two local VCA hospitals, VCA Midtown Animal Hospital and VCA Pets Are People Too Roswell Animal Hospital, treated 24 of the beagles. Most of the dogs needed teeth cleanings and some also had to have several teeth extracted.

The beagles turned out to be very good patients.

"We expected them to be a lot more shy," said Mary Ann Miller, Hospital Manager of VCA Midtown Animal Hospital. "There was one that was super shy. But the rest of them were really, really sweet. They had the best demeanor."

A client fostering one of the beagles told Mary Ann the dog is "the best" and gets along wonderfully with her other beagle.

"I feel very fortunate that we're able to treat these dogs," Mary Ann said. "It's heartwarming to see that the right thing is being done by them." 

“I think it's amazing that our teams went above what is expected and were willing to put in the extra hours to help more pets' needs. They did it because they care and really want to help.”

Even though these hospitals were already fully booked, the staff were able to step up and support Atlanta Humane, noted Tom Hazay, Senior Regional Operations Director for VCA hospitals in Georgia and Alabama. "I think it's amazing that our teams went above what is expected and were willing to put in the extra hours to help more pets' needs," he said. "They did it because they care and really want to help."

Hundreds of Calls From Potential Adopters

When news of the rescued beagles spread, Atlanta Humane received hundreds of calls from people interested in adopting them. “The good news is that some of the beagles have already found forever homes and all the beagles are doing great,” Christina said.

If you're thinking about adopting one of the beagles from Atlanta Humane or a shelter near you, Christina offers some important advice. "Give them patience," she said. "A lot of them, especially the older beagles, are a little shyer, so try to give them their space. Give them any time they need to settle in."

Adoption counselors are available at Atlanta Humane to help adopters "so they're set up for success right there," Christina said. In addition, as part of the shelter's partnership with VCA, all adopted pets receive a Healthy Start Certificate that entitles them to a free health exam at a local VCA hospital and a $250 credit that covers the treatment of some medical conditions.

A Perfect Partnership

This wasn't the first time VCA has helped the Atlanta Humane Society.

"Through the years, when there's been a tornado, hurricane or major fire, or overcrowded shelters across the country, some of these pets have been transported to Atlanta Humane," Tom said. "And then these pets need care and support. Atlanta Humane doesn't always have the resources or space or staff to handle it, and that's when they reach out to us for a hand."

VCA also lends a hand if shelter dogs develop parvovirus, a very contagious and deadly disease. "In those cases, Atlanta Humane will reach out to us and we will house infected dogs in our hospitals' isolation areas. We care for the dogs during that time, and once they recover, they return to Atlanta Humane and are prepared for adoption."

In July, VCA partnered with the Atlanta Humane Society and opened Remedy: Your Community Vet. This new animal hospital will provide high-quality, affordable veterinary care for the pets of people in the local community who may be experiencing financial hardship or need help to keep their pets healthy and in their homes.

“Partnering with the Atlanta Humane Society fits well with VCA's philosophy of creating a better world for pets,” Tom said. "It gives us the opportunity to support organizations that do well for our community and help more pets," he added.

"We're super grateful to VCA," Christina said. "We're thankful to be able to have partners like them that can help us step up and care for animals when there are these critical needs." 

Thank you to VCA hospitals and shelter partners nationwide who are creating a better world for pets every day.

Considering adopting or fostering a pet of your own? Find a qualified VCA shelter partner near you.