The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have just welcomed their newest family member after reportedly adopting an adorable new dog named (wait for it) Mamma Mia. As per the Los Angeles Times, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle adopted the rescue beagle after it was captured by authorities from an “overcrowded and unsanitary” Virginia-based breeding and research facility. The canine was one of 4,000 beagles to be rescued from the testing lab.
Animal rights attorney Shannon Keith, who also runs the Beagle Freedom Project, took in Mamma Mia the beagle and eight of her newborn puppies. Meghan later contacted Keith directly after learning of the rescue. “The Duchess called me personally,” Keith told the Los Angeles Times, adding that the former Suits star introduced herself as “Meghan” and the pair spoke over the phone for 30 minutes. “I thought, ‘Is this Megan Fox?’” Keith added.
Meghan and Harry later visited Keith’s San Fernando Valley home, where they first met the beagle in the back garden. During their after-hours visit, the couple made clear that they had no desire to adopt a puppy.
“The Duchess is holding Mia and was like, ‘We’re adopting her,’” Keith recalled. “She was like ‘No, we don’t want a Christmas puppy … We want ones we can help who are older.’”
Speaking to People, the president and founder of the Beagle Freedom Project also shared that the duke and duchess “made a point” of adopting an older dog “who most would overlook because she is older, has health issues, and is traumatised by her past.”
Keith continued: “I was so impressed by their commitment to animal welfare! They have been following up letting us know how well Mamma Mia is doing in her new, amazing home.”
Meghan and Prince Harry are well known for their love of dogs — and the duchess is particularly fond of beagles, having previously owned two, named Guy and Bogart. In 2018, the couple also adopted a black labrador rescue, named Pula.