As of 2012, there were 83.3 million dogs under the guardianship of U.S. residents, according to the Humane Society of the United States. This statistic should come as no surprise as dogs are the most popular companion pets in the country. However, despite this high status, thousands of dogs suffer in research laboratories across the U.S.

The Beagle Freedom Project reports that there are “nearly 65,000 dogs … sitting in cages being used to test cosmetics, pharmaceutical drugs, household products, and academic curiosities with little to no hope of getting out alive.”

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Over 95 percent of the dogs used in such research are beagles as their docile nature makes them easy to handle.

While cosmetics animal testing seems to be on its way out around the world (and hopefully in the U.S. too  if the Humane Cosmetics Act gains momentum and passes), other animal-tested research still remains.

As this fight rages on, nonprofit organizations, like the Beagle Freedom Project, are looking for other ways to help lab animals escape their fate of untimely death.

Beagle Freedom Project has been working tirelessly to introduce and pass legislation that would allow lab animals to be freed after their time is up in research laboratories, saving them from euthanasia and also providing them with a second chance to live a normal life.

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Currently, these pieces of legislation – known as Beagle Freedom Bills – are under consideration in California and New York.

One such bill has just been signed in Minnesota by Gov. Mark Dayton! Hooray!

The bill, which was added into the state’s Omnibus Supplemental Budget Bill (HF 3172), will require that “any research institution that receives state support … offer dogs and cats who have been used for testing purposes and who would otherwise be euthanized … to be offered for adoption through an animal rescue organization,” according to Minnesota Voters for Animal Protection.

Minnesota’s Beagle Freedom Bill is now the first one in the U.S.! Woohoo! We look forward to seeing more progress on this issue and seeing more animals be freed from research labs!

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To find out what you can do to help pass Beagle Freedom Bills in your state, please click here.

Image source: Wikimedia Commons

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