ARLINGTON, Va. — As the saying goes, they're our best friends. And a beagle named Marimba sure seems to have found hers.
"She'll just nap and relax and know that we're going to be there, know that she's safe," said Tim Denning sitting with the sleepy beagle in his lap at his Arlington home.
The safety he's offering the dog could be a first for her.
"This dog came from a very difficult situation," Denning said.
Difficult and even deadly for some of the dogs Marimba grew up with - thousands of beagles bred for scientific experiments by the company Envigo and kept in cages at a Cumberland, Virginia facility.
After dozens of citations for neglect by federal inspectors, the company agreed to shut down the facility and turn over 4,000 beagles for adoption.
"I don't think she had stepped outside," Denning said of Marimba before she was removed from the facility just two days before arriving at his home. "She had never encountered grass, never seen rocks. Every sound was terrifying. Doors, elevators, leashes, everything."
Before the surrendered beagles can find permanent homes they require medical checks and temperament testing, and that's where foster homes come in.
Denning and his dog Hugo opened their home through the Animal Welfare League of Arlington, and in just couple of days Marimba picked up a new trail in life.
"She's made some major strides, just gaining that extra amount of confidence," Denning said.
So, what kind of household would make a good home for one of these rescued beagles?
With years of fostering experience Denning says they won't be hard to match.
"I think the only thing that you need, the only requisite you need is you've got to have care," he said. "They are full time commitment. So if you know that going in and you care, anybody can take one of these animals...and it's free to care."
The beagles have to have all of their shots and be spayed or neutered before they can be adopted out. So, the wait for adoption continues in the D.C. region.
Denning says Animal Welfare League of Arlington, which he volunteers with on the board, set him up for success with supplies and even training for him.