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40 beagles rescued from animal testing at Spain laboratory

November 25, 2011 12:00:00 AM PST
Some dogs rescued from an animal testing lab in Spain are in desperate need of a good home. The beagles arrived Wednesday night at LAX.

Forty purebred beagles were rescued thanks to the Beagle Freedom Project.

"The lab was closing and either they were going to kill the dogs or somebody needed to make a commitment to get them out," said Shannon Keith from the Beagle Freedom Project.

And get them out they did. The dogs, all male, range in age from 4 to 7 years old. They've all spent their entire lives in a laboratory.

"From the moment they were born they were literally in a cage, never seen the light of day," said volunteer Andy Baker. "The only contact they have is with human beings who literally pick them up to test on them."

Beagles are often tested on because they are gentle dogs.

"It's their characteristics which is their downfall," said Baker. "Because they are so nice, which is why they are used for this type of experiment."

"We also know they were used for human drug research," said Keith. "A lot of them have injuries, they've got scars."

Now the biggest hurdle is getting these dogs into foster homes.

"We have to do a lot of medical on them before they can actually go to a permanent home," said Keith.

Fourteen dogs still need foster homes. The Beagle Freedom Project picks up all expenses, and it cost over $50,000 to bring the dogs to Los Angeles.

"It's going to cost more to just care for these dogs," said Keith. "We found out most of them need teeth extracted, they need blood work done. They need a lot of help."

And the small grassroots nonprofit is also in need of donations so they can continue their work and find these dogs permanent homes.

"The dream is to have all these dogs in loving families, living like a normal pet," said Baker.


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