TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — The Humane Society of Tampa Bay opened its doors to 15 beagles as a part of a “historic operation” to rescue 4,000 dogs from a “mass-breeding facility riddled with animal welfare concerns.”

The Humane Society of the United States, which is leading the rescue effort, said it plans to remove roughly 4,000 beagles housed at an Envigo RMS LLC facility in Cumberland, VA which were bred for animal experimentation.

Government inspectors reportedly found that some beagles at the facility were being killed instead of treated and nursing mother beagles were denied food. Inspectors also said the food that was given out contained maggots, mold, and feces.

The Humane Society claimed that over an eight-week period, 25 beagle puppies died from exposure to the cold and other dogs suffered injuries in overcrowded conditions.

A lawsuit filed against Envigo by the Department of Justice followed the inspection and alleged Animal Welfare Act violations at the facility.

“Despite the long day, the puppies perked up and immediately started bounding around their kennels and playing as soon as they settled in,” said Jessica Johnson, senior director of the Animal Rescue Team for the Humane Society of the United States. “For these resilient puppies, hopefully their ear tattoos are the only reminders of their past.”

“These remarkable dogs now have wonderful homes and lives ahead of them, just as they deserve,” said Kitty Block, president and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States.

Those interested in adopting one of the beagles can check the Humane Society of Tampa Bay’s website nightly to see when the beagles become available.

Some dogs may be available for adoption as early as next week.

The Society is open daily from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. and adopts on a first-come, first-served basis at the shelter located at 3607 N Armenia Avenue in West Tampa.