When we think about animals used for laboratory experiments, the first that come to mind are typically white rabbits, mice, and rats. We’ve become accustomed to hearing the phrase “lab rats” and we assume that these small rodents are somehow the ideal test subjects. What many people don’t know, however, is that these are hardly the only animals used for lab experiments, cats and dogs are also frequently used.
According to the American Anti-Vivisection Society, between 70,000 and 75,000 dogs are used for research in the United States each year, the majority of these dogs are beagles. Most animal lovers are horrified to learn that beagles are commonly subjected to toxicity tests, forced to ingest large amounts of potentially harmful substances to gauge their toxic threshold. Many labs remove the dog’s voiceboxes to avoid undue noise from these animals.
Beagles are a favorite in labs because of their docile and trusting nature, two traits that are cruelly used against them by experimenters. Life in a lab is really no life at all for these dogs as they never get to experience companionship, let alone grass or basic comforts like good food and a bed. The most heartbreaking part in all of this is that once trials are over, most dogs are euthanized.
Thankfully, in the face of this horrible practice, there are many kind people working to give former lab animals a second chance at life – just take the kind people at Beagle Freedom Project, for example.
Beagle Freedom Project helps arrange for the release and rehoming of lab beagles at the end of their trials. Recently, they helped obtain freedom for five pups!
This is likely the first time these dogs have seen the sunshine.
Each dog will bear the mark of their time in labs in the form of an ear tattoo – other than that, with time and love their past will become a distant memory!
We have a feeling these cuties will have no problem at all adjusting to life outside of the lab!
We wish that all animals could experience this sort of life, especially after being raised in a cold, scary lab. In addition to orchestrating release and rehoming, Beagle Freedom Project is working to pass legislation that requires labs to retire their animals at the end of experiments rather than euthanizing them. So far, legislation has been passed in California, New York, and a few other states.
All image source: Beagle Freedom Project/Facebook