Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have welcomed a new member of the Sussex family. The royal couple reportedly adopted a 7-year-old rescue beagle named Mamma Mia.
In a canine Cinderella story worthy of an animated feature film, the Los Angeles Time reports that Mamma Mia and her eight newborn puppies were rescued from an Envigo breeding and research facility in Virginia. The facility, which closed following a federal lawsuit accusing it of “failing to meet minimum animal welfare law standards for handling, housing, feeding, watering , sanitation and adequate veterinary care, among other requirements,” according to the Department of Justice, returned more than 4,000 beagles when it closed in July. The dogs were then moved to shelters and rescue groups, including the Beagle Freedom Project in California, where Meghan and Harry were eventually reunited with Mamma Mia.
“The Duchess called me personally,” said Shannon Keith, an animal rights lawyer who runs the Beagle Freedom Project. Time. “She calls my mobile without caller ID and says, ‘Hey Shannon, it’s Meghan.’ We talked for 30 minutes, and I was like, ‘Is that Megan Fox?'”
The royal couple reportedly visited Keith’s establishment to meet some of the puppies, but quickly chose the mother of the litter. “The Duchess hugged Mia and said, ‘We’re going to adopt her,'” Keith said. “She was like, ‘No, we don’t want a Christmas puppy. … We want the ones we can help who are older.'”
A Sussex spokesperson confirmed that Meghan had seen the news of the Envigo establishment closing and wanted to get involved, adding that the Duchess was focused on helping an older and more vulnerable dog, knowing that it is often easier to find homes for puppies.
Mamma Mia won’t be Meghan’s first foray into caring for a rescue beagle – when she moved to the UK in 2018 to marry Prince Harry, she brought Gus, her rescue beagle, with her , who himself has achieved leaving status, appeared at Meghan and Harry’s wedding reception.
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