The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have added a new member to their royal ranks: a 7-year-old beagle named Mamma Mia. Meghan and Prince Harry rescued the newly crowned pooch Duchess from the Beagle Freedom Project, who received Mamma Mia, eight of her puppies and 14 other beagles from a larger rescue earlier in July.
Federal authorities led a rescue of 4,000 dogs at an Envigo breeding and research facility in Virginia after the Justice Department deemed it a “house of horrors”. A lawsuit was filed against the company in May and further investigation uncovered gross neglect of dogs housed in factory facilities, including damning cases of insufficient food, untreated medical issues, conditions unsanitary living conditions and other serious violations of animal welfare law. The thousands of beagles were released from Envigo’s “care” and transferred to the Humane Society of the United States, which then dispersed the dogs to shelters and rescue groups across the country. Mamma Mia was one of 25 people who traveled to Southern California and the only pup in the pack to join the Windsor home.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s daughter, Lilibet, takes after her father in this VERY clear way. https://t.co/ksuv5ol2Y4
—SheKnows (@SheKnows) June 7, 2022
Shannon Keith, an animal rights lawyer, coordinated the adoption of the Duke and Duchess through a direct conversation with Meghan, who specifically wanted to help one of the older beagles, knowing that the puppies have much easier to adopt. According to the Duchess’s spokesperson, Meghan had previously fostered a rescue beagle and enjoyed its company for many years, so when she heard about the animal rights crisis unfolding at the Envigo factory, she wanted to be part of the solution for abused dogs. .
Keith shared that Prince Harry paused to show his own compassion for his newest family member before leaving the Beagle Freedom Project facility, asking if there was a toy that Mamma Mia particularly liked that the couple could take home with them. A box of toys was returned for Mamma Mia to rummage through, and she picked up a fox toy she had played with on her trip to California. With the toy in her mouth, Mia, Meghan and Harry headed to their Montecito home.
Click here to see the full timeline of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s relationship.