Meghan Markle and Prince Harry adopt a rescue beagle

puppy love.

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry have welcomed a new dog member to the family: a beagle rescued from a testing lab.

The dog — named Momma Mia — was one of 4,000 beagles seized by authorities last month after the testing lab closed over numerous animal welfare violations. The Envigo factory, which sold puppies for use in pharmaceutical and biotechnology research, was found to have kept the dogs in appalling conditions.

Many of the dogs were found malnourished and kept in cages where feces and food scraps accumulated. More than 300 puppies died at the facility between January and July last year.

Shannon Keith — an animal rights lawyer who leads the Beagle Freedom Project and who has taken care of many of the rescued beagles — told the LA Times that she received a call from an unregistered number and had no idea who was on the other end.

Momma Mia beagle with puppies.
Momma Mia was rescued along with eight of her puppies.
Beagle Freedom Project/Mega

“She calls my cell phone with no caller ID and says, ‘Hey Shannon, this is Meghan,'” Keith recalls. “We talked for 30 minutes and I thought, ‘Is this Megan Fox?'”

She only discovered the mystery caller’s identity when the royal couple paid a quiet after-hours visit to see the dogs at a San Fernando Valley home. No photos were taken and the couple were accompanied by two guards. Mia had been taken there along with eight of her newborn puppies.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.
The couple already have two other dogs.
Getty Images

Keith added that unlike most people who want to adopt puppies, Markle wanted to help an older dog.

The animal rights activist says the alum ‘Suits’ held Mia and announced, “We’re adopting her. She said, ‘No, we don’t want Christmas puppies… We want the ones we can help, who are older.’

A spokesperson for Markle told The LA Times that the Duchess had read that the Envigo research plant had closed and wanted to help.

Markle is an outspoken advocate of adopting rescue dogs. When she moved to the UK to marry Prince Harry, she brought her rescue beagle named Guy with her.

Mama Mia beagle.
Momma Mia will now live in the lap of luxury.
Beagle Freedom Project/Mega

The podcaster ‘Archetypes’ chose animal welfare charity Mayhew as one of her first royal patronages when she joined the royal family in 2018.

Keith said that when the couple left the shelter, Prince Harry asked if Mia had “a favorite toy or something”.

The 7-year-old beagle left with a fox toy for her new luxury home in Montecito, where she will join Guy and a black lab believed to be called Pula.

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