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I'm crying: Laboratory beagles set free, see the sun for the first time

Illustration for article titled Im crying: Laboratory beagles set free, see the sun for the first time

Ouch, my feels.

On May 6, 2014, ARME's Beagle Freedom Project rescued nine beagles from a laboratory in Nevada, where they had been used for product testing their entire lives. Many of these dogs had literally never seen the sun.

According to ARME, "Beagles are the most popular breed for lab use because of their friendly, docile, trusting, forgiving, people-pleasing personalities. The research industry says they adapt well to living in a cage, and are inexpensive to feed."


I'm searching for something to say here, but I don't have much — this is good and animal product testing is bad. I'll admit it's one thing to be hunting for a cure for cancer, but I think we can all agree no one — not even a dog — should die for our laundry detergent. And a reasonably healthy dog that's no longer of use to the lab shouldn't be euthanized just because it's "job is done," which is the situation ARME is specifically rescuing these beagles from.

Here's what the organization has to say about rescuing one of these beagles...

Anyone interested in fostering or adopting a lab beagle should be aware of the challenges these dogs have. They will not be accustomed to life in a home and will not have experience with children, cats, or other dogs. They will not be house-trained and accidents will happen, although they learn quickly. Many have gone directly from a commercial breeder to the lab, and have never felt grass under their feet or even seen the sun. They will have been fed a special diet formulated for lab animals and may be difficult to adjust to new foods. They will be unfamiliar with treats, toys, bedding and may never have walked on a leash. They will have lived in cages with steel wire floors and may have inflamed or infected paws from the pressure. They may be fearful of people initially and may have phobias from a lifetime in confinement or from being restrained. They are likely to have been surgically de-barked by the breeder and have an ID number tattooed in their ear. Please also be aware that although these beagles are considered healthy, you will be given very little information about the beagle's medical history, and you will not be told its origins or what kind of testing they may have been used for.

With time, patience, play, companionship, love – and most of all, freedom – these dogs will learn how to become dogs, and their transformation will be amazing.

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