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When we think of animals used for lab experiments, rats and mice are typically the first that come to mind.  We’ve become accustomed to the idea of  “lab rats” and mice running through complicated mazes to get the prized cheese at the end. While these animals undoubtedly suffer in testing facilities and the practice of using live animals for cosmetic and pharmaceutical experiments has been proven to be incredibly unreliable and ineffective, rats and mice have become to the “accepted” testing animals. With this in mind, many people are shocked to find that dogs are often used in labs. Yes, that’s right, the animals we consider our best friends and loyal companions are also subjected to horrific lives in concrete cells where they undergo painful procedures and experiments in the name of science.

Beagles are a favorite in the pharmaceutical testing industry due to their docile and loyal nature. According to the American Anti-Vivisection Society, between 70,000 and 75,000 dogs are used for research in the United States each year and most of these dogs are beagles. Tragically, dogs used for testing never get to experience live as a “regular” dog. Instead, many beagles suffer through having their voice boxes removed, never get to experience walking outside – let alone grass, and they only ever learn to associate humans with pain and fear. This is really no life at all for these dogs, and to make matters 100 times worse, most dogs are euthanized as soon as their trials are done.

Luckily, there is one organization fighting to get lab beagles a second chance at life: Beagle Freedom Project (BFP). BFP is campaigning to raise awareness for animal testing, encouraging consumers not to support products made with these methods, as well as working to pass legislation that ensures animals used in testing facilities get rehomed as soon as their tests are complete. So far, BFP has successfully helped pass bills in Michigan, California, and New York to secure the freedom of retired lab beagles.

Life after a lab can be quite difficult for a beagle to adjust to. They have to learn how to trust people and all the basics of potty training, walking on a leash, and how to interact with other dogs and humans. BFP helps to rehabilitate the animals they rescue, but above and beyond any training they can provide, love seems to be the best rehabilitation method around.

In a Facebook post accompanying this photo, BFP writes, “Sometimes you just need a hug.”



We think that learning to love will be a breeze for this beagle thanks to his amazing little human best friend. Hundreds of beagles are getting the chance to experience this happy life thanks to the hard work of BFP and the fantastic people who work with them to help rescue and rehome these animals.

No animal should have to suffer in a lab considering the emerging technologies that make their use obsolete. While a future without animal testing is certainly in sight, we can minimize animal suffering by purchasing products that have the “leaping bunny” symbol and read “cruelty-free” on the labels. BFP has an incredible app called “Cruelty Cutter” that allows you to scan products and see if they were made with animal testing.

To learn more about BFP and their work, check out their website here.

Image source: Beagle Freedom Project/Facebook

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36 comments on “Little Boy Hugs Former Lab Beagle So He Knows a Life of Testing is Over for Good”

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john pasqua
1 Years Ago


Karen Capolupo Mastroianni
1 Years Ago


Sandrakay Little
1 Years Ago

It takes the love of a child sometimes to help

Dianne Jacobson
1 Years Ago

How cruel leave these little dogs alone they are so cute and loving if Lucy from Peanuts were real she'd give you lab jerks an earful Morons leave beagles live in Peace

Shelley Evans
1 Years Ago

yeeeah kids shouldn't hug dogs... kids reaaaally shouldn't hug dogs who aren't used to being hugged.

09 Aug 2016

This is our Cate and she has been with us for a year. We are honored that she has become apart of our family and we have become so much more passionate about this cause seeing her PTSD first hand. We love sharing her story and spreading awareness. I encourage you to read an article I wrote about her progress https://www.facebook.com/notes/cate-of-the-beagle-freedom-project/an-open-letter-to-the-companies-that-partake-in-animal-testing/541952039298173

It goes through her stages of opening up to us and how she accepted the love we were so ready to give her on her time. She amazes me everyday.

Katie Crifasi
1 Years Ago

People actually aren't supposed to hug dogs because it makes them anxious. The dogs learn to tolerate that behavior from humans but it shouldn't be encouraged.

Gaye Bishop
1 Years Ago

I wonder if these people who condone the torture of animals for the cosmetic and associated industries realise they are right up there in the ranks of those cultures that torture, kill and eat dogs and cats. If we are to live a kinder life, these scientific tortuures and killings must also stop. What sickos some humans are!

Liana Tobias
1 Years Ago

Liana Tobias
1 Years Ago

Jean Spurvey
1 Years Ago

Beagles are deliberately infected with Lyme Disease for research purposes and made to suffer greatly for long time periods. Then when the labs are done with them the dogs are euthanized.


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