Just in time for the 4th of July, some animals used for testing here in Texas got their first taste of freedom.
The animals, four dogs and a cat have been used for years for animal testing and arrived in Hutto to be taken home by foster families. The animals were rescued by the Beagle Freedom Project, a non-profit group that rescues not just Beagles but all types of animals.
Those that arrived here Friday night are what they called pound seizures.
They were formerly someone’s pet and somehow ended up in a shelter.
In many states, including in Texas, labs are allowed to get animals from shelters and use them for testing. Once they are done with the testing the animals are usually euthanized.
That’s where the Beagle Freedom Project comes into play.
They negotiate with the labs to surrender the animals to them to be rescued. Foster families take the animals first because they need to spend some time being rehabilitated before they can be up for adoption.
The Beagle Freedom Project has been working since 2010 to save as many animals as possible.
Alaska and Elvis are two of those Beagles and live in Hutto in their forever home. The pair didn’t always have names and although they can’t tell you for themselves the barcode they were once known by is forever inked in their ears tells their stories. Alaska and Elvis were once subject to being animal testers.
Beagles are the breed of choice for laboratory testing because they fit in the standard cages, and for their temperament. "They are people pleasers and they are very forgiving and they generally don’t bite people so unfortunately the thing that makes them wonderful companions are also make them the choice for animal testing,” said Lorna Campbell, Managing Director for the Beagle Freedom Project.
Cosmetics, household products, experiments, all types of animals are used for testing, “We understand that we can’t have animal testing just banned immediately. It’s very much legal across the country and in fact under USDA laws for pharmaceuticals it’s mandatory,” Campbell said.
But once they have served their time they usually are euthanized.
That’s where the Beagle Freedom Project steps in Campbell said, they believe if the animal any type, cat, mice, snake, dog has been the subject of testing and they’re healthy at the end of it, they should be given a different ending, “They should be allowed a chance at a life of freedom and comfort, where they can lie on the sofa and watch tv with their new family, where they have a comfortable bed to lie and a yard to run around in and where they can walk around on the grass and feel the sunshine,” she said.
The Beagle Freedom Project has also come up with an app if a consumer wants to help do away with animal testing. It’s called “Cruelty Cutter " you can scan the barcode of a product before you buy it to find out if they do any type of animal testing with the product.