Prince Harry and Meghan Markle just welcomed a new dog to the family.
The royal couple recently adopted a 7-year-old beagle named Momma Mia from the Beagle Freedom Project. The dog was rescued by the group last month, along with 4,000 other beagles, from the Envigo breeding and research plant in Virginia. Shannon Keith, an animal rights attorney who oversees the Beagle Freedom Project, told People that she was seriously impressed by Harry and Meghan and their dedication to this cause. “The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are the most loving, sensitive and caring adopters I have ever met!,” she said. “We were so honored that they have been supporting Beagle Freedom Project and chose to adopt a dog who has been abused.”
Keith continued, “They made a point to adopt a rescue named Mia, who most would overlook because she is older, has health issues and is traumatized by her past. I was so impressed by their commitment to animal welfare! They have been following up letting us know how well Momma Mia is doing in her new, amazing home!” After being rescued from the breeding plant, Momma Mia was transported to Maryland along with eight of her puppies. She was then moved to the Beagle Freedom Project rescue facility in San Fernando Valley, per the Los Angeles Times.
Keith told the paper that the adoption process began when “the duchess called me personally,” but she thought she was speaking to a different famous Meghan at first. Keith explained, “She calls on my cell with no Caller ID and says, ‘Hey Shannon, this is Meghan.’ We talked for 30 minutes, and I thought, ‘Is this Megan Fox?’” But the pair eventually straightened things out and the Sussexes along with their two security guards later paid a visit to the rescue center where they played with Momma Mia in the backyard before deciding she was the one for them. “The Duchess is holding Mia and was like, ‘We’re adopting her,’” Keith said. She added that they were also set on getting an “older” dog, explaining, “She was like ‘No, we don’t want a Christmas puppy…We want ones we can help who are older.’”
Meghan also previously adopted a senior beagle named Guy from A Dog’s Dream Rescue in 2015. Her spokeswoman told the LA Times that, as a longtime owner of a rescue beagle, when the Duchess saw the story about the Envigo plant shutdown she wanted to get involved and help one of the older dogs as she knows that puppies typically have a much easier time finding homes.
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