Recently 40 beagles that were born into a life of lab testing in Spain found themselves homeless. Their lives were in jeopardy of being ended by being euthanized. Only two options were available to them - find a rescue for 40 unwanted dogs or euthanization.
Time was not a luxury for these dogs so a plea went out to rescues around the world. Thankfully, The Beagle Freedom Project located in the U.S. offered to take them. This was not without a great cost to them because it would take $100K to ship the beagles from Spain to the states safely.
When the Spanish 40 beagles arrived in Los Angeles, the Beagle Freedom Project was ready and waiting to place them into foster homes where they could be rehabilitated. The dogs had many firsts that day. It was the first time they had ever touched grass and the first time they felt freedom. They had never been in a home before, or walked on a leash, and did not know what a toy or chew bone was.
The adjustment was harder for some than others. One particular dog, named Ebbie, who was a quiet boy, was one of the less fortunate ones. Ebbie, had suffered inside the Lab for five years. He had tumors all over his body. He could not eat or drink. It was though he had given up on life. Veterinarians could find no easy answers for the problems that these beagles suffered. They could only guess that these problems were possibly caused by residual toxins still in the body, from the years of lab testing.
Ebbie was going downhill fast. He couldn't stand and his breathing had become very shallow. It seemed as though each breath could be his last one. But Shannon Keith, founder of Beagle Freedom Project, wouldn't give up Ebbie. She hand-fed small bites of soft food to him, tended to him day and night, and bit-by-bit, minute-by-minute his condition steadily improved.
But it wasn't until Shannon brought home a litter of motherless pit bull puppies, that Ebbie made a turn for the better. The puppies immediately gravitated to Ebbie, who could barely walk. Somehow the puppies and Ebbie drew strength from each other. They would sleep and snuggle together. For the first time in Ebbie's life, he felt the love and affection he had missed out on his whole life.
Soon Ebbie was standing and then walking. Months later, he was running. One year after his rescue, Ebbie had been adopted by his fostermom, Cindy. Each day he is learning something new, and is finally learning how to behave like a dog. Fortunately he doesn't seem to have any residual emotional problems from his past.
Ebbie is a mellow guy who loves people and the affection he receives from them. He even has a new girlfriend named Buttercup who is 14 years old, deaf, arthritic and going blind, but all Ebbie sees is love with her. He follows Buttercup's lead, and the two cuddle up together for hours at a time. Today Ebbie has forgotten his past, and just wants to be loved, and touched, and cuddled.
Some facts about dogs used for testing in Laboratories:
Beagles are the preferred breed to be used for testing. They are used for a multitude of products such as medical/pharmaceutical products, cosmetics and household products. Why are they the favorite breed for Lab work? Because beagles are docile, friendly, and adapt well to living in cages. Lab beagles, known for their loud bark, are often silenced through a surgical procedure called vocal cordectomy, which is basically removing vocal tissue to reduce the volume of their barks.
In the United States alone, some 70,000 beagles are still being used for animal testing. Inside the Lab, the beagles are poked and prodded. Sometimes their only human interaction is being tested on. Once the labs are done testing on a particular animal, it is euthanized. That's what would have happened to the Spanish 40 had the good people of The Beagle Freedom Project not stepped forward to claim responsibility for the animals.
To follow the progress of these dogs like Ebbie and more follow The Beagle Freedom Project on Facebook.