When most people think about animals used for testing and experiments, they imagine small rodents. We’ve been conditioned to think about “lab rats” dutifully and mindlessly running through mazes in the pursuit of cheese, but we are never told that there are other animals who are also subject to horrific lives in laboratories. In fact, in addition to monkeys, cats, bats, and countless other animal species, dogs are the common victims of cruel testing.

Beagles are the breed of choice for testing in the pharmaceutical industry due to their docile nature. In labs, they undergo extreme pain and are poisoned with experimental substances via force-feeding, injection, or skin application, in order to measure toxicity. Instead of getting to experience all of the love and joy that comes with being a beloved companion, these dogs know nothing but pain and fear for the duration of their lives in captivity. To make matters even more tragic, most dogs are euthanized after their trails are over.

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Thankfully, there is an amazing organization dedicated to giving beagles, and other animals, a chance at life outside of the cold, concrete walls of labs: Beagle Freedom Project.

This organization works with laboratories to arrange for the release of their animals once tests are completed. They then help to rehabilitate these dogs – many of whom are terrified of humans and have no idea what it means to be a dog – and find them caring forever homes.

While life outside of the lab is difficult at first for many of these pups, most are not house broken and maintain strange coping mechanisms such as hoarding food or acting out aggressively, once they finally learn that they are safe and loved – things take a miraculous turn!

All it takes is one look at this photo to understand the power of freedom!

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This sweet little pooch is an adoption success! With the fear of life in a cage far, far behind her, the beagle is finally learning what it means to live.

There is nothing that warms our hearts more than knowing that a better life is possible for former lab animals. You can help make more happy endings like this one possible by supporting the incredible work of Beagle Freedom Project.

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We hope to see one day where all dogs get to know this freedom. Until then, share this post and encourage others to learn more!

All image source: Beagle Freedom Project/Instagram