Research laboratory sets 7 beagles free - MyFoxAustin.com | KTBC Fox 7 | News, Weather, Sports

Research laboratory sets 7 beagles free

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Until this moment, all these beagles have known is life in a cage.

"It's heartbreaking," said Jen Anderson.

Anderson carries one of the seven dogs rescued from a laboratory near the border.

She filled out an application a year ago with the Beagle Freedom Project to be a foster parent.

"We never thought we'd be able to get one," said Jen.

This is the first time they've experienced human affection and two of the beagles are nine years old.

"I couldn't sleep last night," laughed Jen.

Shannon Keith, the founder and president of Beagle Freedom Project, says it was not an easy release negotiation.

Shannon said, "Laboratories do not want to release dogs...period...because they don't want the world knowing the dogs are tested on."

The labs test household products like make-up and soap on the dogs.

"They will put toxins in their eyes," said Shannon. "They'll take a tube and they shove it down their throats. These dogs are screaming, crying in pain. There's no anesthesia. There's no pain killers given. They force it down with all these toxins to test their blood levels to determine at what point will they die."

They were only handled when being used for experimentation.

Until now, the pups have never been outside or played with a toy.

Shannon said, "A dog can be in a laboratory for five years, living in a cage, then sold to another laboratory and they test on them until they're what they call 'spent,' that they just cannot test on them anymore because their veins have collapsed, they cannot see and then they just kill them."

The Beagle Freedom Project also has a smart phone app available. Cruelty Cutter will scan the barcode of any household item you have and tell you whether it's been tested on animals. The $2.99 you pay for the app goes toward rescuing more beagles.

Shannon said, "It is not required by law, to test on animals for cosmetics or products."

For the first time, the beagles are given names.

Jen pulled bobby out of the van herself.

"His eyes were just so sweet...He just kind of sunk into me," said Jen.

There's a term affectionately known as "foster failures" for families who cannot just foster an animal, but end up adopting it too.

"As long as everything matches with the beagle that we have at home, we would love to keep one forever," Jen said.

This is the group's first rescue mission in Texas.

A Beagle Freedom bill is pending in California and New York. The project just passed a law in Minnesota, making it mandatory for labs to release dogs and cats to a rescue organization when testing is over.

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