The Beagle Freedom Project (BFP) is a unique program run by the Los Angeles-based non-profit Animal Rescue, Media, and Education (ARME). BFP negotiates with laboratories across the world to secure the release of dogs and other animals and gives them a chance at a normal home life after everything they have endured for vanity and scientific curiosity.
Once safe with BFP, each dog is examined by a veterinarian and treated for any and all wounds, injuries or illnesses, and the BFP volunteers spend countless hours showing them all things dog. Walking on a leash and potty training are unknown and new endeavors. As are wildflowers, cars, hanging plants, rain, wind and all the new noises and smells that freedom brings.
Awareness of animal testing has grown through the years, as evidenced by the numerous cruelty-free products that are now available to consumers. But, the business of lab-bred dogs—the archaic practice of animal testing and the release protocols in place for animals used for testing—still have a long way to go. BFP is willing to go the extra mile, and does. Co-founder Shannon Keith co-authored the Beagle Freedom Bill to advance legislation to mandate their release, and in 2014, Minnesota became the first state to pass the bill. In the years that followed, California, Connecticut, Nevada and New York all passed similar bills into law. At the time of this article, Illinois is pending.
In an effort to reach more people who want to shop cruelty free, BFP created the Cruelty Cutter App. This free app includes an impressive list of cruelty-free products, and has a unique barcode scanner that allows you to scan products with your cell phone and confirm if they are indeed cruelty free.
Beagle Freedom Project FAQs:
Q. How many dogs are used in labs, and how many of them are beagles?
A. About 70,000 dogs are used in research experiments every year, and of that number, approximately 96% of them are beagles.
Q. Why beagles?
A. Beagles, as a breed, are naturally very docile and trusting of humans. Research laboratories buy them from companies who purpose-breed beagles in order to amplify these inherent traits, so that they are easier for lab technicians to handle.
Q. Does Beagle Freedom Project rescue animals other than beagles?
A. Yes! Beagle Freedom Project will rescue any animal from laboratories willing to release. To date, we have rescued all breeds of dogs, cats, goats, horses, pigs, rats, rabbits, ferrets, guinea pigs, and even fish from labs.
Q. Where do the animals BFP rescues come from, and how does the organization obtain them?
A. The rescue varies from lab to lab. BFP reaches out to every lab in the U.S. asking to assist with post-research placements. Some facilities voluntarily work with BFP through animal care technicians and others are compelled to do so because of the Beagle Freedom Law. Often rescues are sensitive and cannot be publicly announced because the labs threaten to kill all future dogs and animals if they see their victims on our website.
Q. How can people adopt BFP’s rescued laboratory animals?
A. People who want to adopt BFP’s rescued laboratory animals can fill out an application on our website to be considered for placement.
Q. What can adopters expect when dogs come out of labs?
A. Every dog is different, but some of the universal traits of a newly released survivor is that they behave like puppies in full-grown dog bodies. They are not house-trained, leash-trained, understand no words, do not have a name, and are completely unfamiliar with toys, furniture, and being outside at all. Every foster is given an exhaustive tip-sheet and given 24-hour support in helping the new dog acclimate to this better life.
Beagle Freedom Project conducts many rescues each month. Visit their website (www.bfp.org) to learn how you can help support their mission and read about past rescues. Learn more about the Beagle Freedom Bill at www.bfp.org/petition/
For more information:
Beagle Freedom Project: www.bfp.org
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