Posts Tagged ‘westminster kennel club’

Hey folks, Well my weekend could’ve have been nicer. Spent my Saturday afternoon with some beagles. The Beagle Freedom Project hosted a nationwide house party event. Established in 2010, this group finds retirement homes for ex-lab beagles when they can no longer be used. Since the 19th century Beagles have been used as test subjects because of their calm dispostions. I first heard about beagles being used in labs in the late 1990s when it was made public in the UK. After 100 years, beagles as test subjects in the UK is now illegal. The Beagle is one of the oldest breeds with hounds being traced back as far as 700 B.C. Although many beagles used in labs come from commercial kennels, there are cases of pet beagles being stolen and later sold to laboratories.

Quite a few times when labs or schools who teach veterinary courses buy these dogs from class B dealers they’re unaware that their test subjects or students’ homework could be somebody’s house pet! The 2006 HBO documentary ‘Dealing Dogs’ shows undercover footage of stolen house dogs being sold by class B dealers and bunchers. Beagles came in 4th place on the AKC’s top 10 breeds list. Throughout the 1950s, they were the most popular dog in the U.S. Uno, a champion show beagle won best in show at the Westminster Kennel Club dog show in 2008.

Beagles in laboratories, however, have a living situation that is the opposite of their show dog and house pet cousins. Day in and day out, they live in kennels and under go several tests, including those for cosmetics and other products. When dogs hit the retirement age, they are either transferred to other labs or put down.

Several Beagles in a kennel. This laboratory is one of several places where stolen dogs end up. While several dogs have received help with efforts such as the Beagle Freedom Project, many of these good natured and intelligent hounds are used for animal testing, day in and day out.

The goal of the Beagle Freedom Project is to get various laboratories to release their dogs to the group who then find retirement homes for hounds, young and old.


Ya’ll ain’t gonna leave me here, right? right?”

“You wouldn’t do this to a dog would you?”
“Help me! I’m not your guinea pig, I’m somebody’s pet!”

(Kennels full of Beagles, above and a Pound Hound)

Many of the dogs leave the lab nervous and uncertain about life outside a kennel or dog run. Even something as simple as, say a car backfiring can cause even the most quiet and submissive hounds to have a panic attack.

After a few months to a year the dogs come around and several become more sociable around people and other dogs. One example is Timmy an ex-lab hound from San Diego,CA. See photo below.

100_1074“Just chillin'”

Overall, the house party event was enjoyable. Lots people and so many Beagles they were coming out of the woodwork… not literally, but close enough.  Although it might seem like an uphill struggle, several beagles have been released from labs in Spain, Italy and the U.K.

Many beagles, young, old, male and female are all waiting for retirement homes outside a laboratory setting. It’s just a matter of when they’ll get them. That’s where the Beagle Freedom Project comes in. So far, over around 100 hounds have found retirement homes. While many groups want animal testing to be completely eradicated, that is still up in the air, however there are new laws being put in place to make improvements for the lives of animal test subjects. One study showed lab rats who are given names instead of numbers actually get better test results

However, not all animal testing is bad. Another type of testing is intelligence,  apes, birds, dogs, dolphins, horses, pigs,  rats and even sharks have all been used as subjects in animal I.Q. tests. This type of testing is done to better understand how these animals go through everyday life which can help make a difference when it comes to animal welfare and conservation issues.

Beagles are intelligent dogs but sadly never received the same recognition as Border Collies or Poodles. Snoopy is the most famous beagle, other famous beagles include Shiloh, Porthos from Star Trek, Lou from the movie, Cats & Dogs and Shoeshine in the Disney adaptation of Underdog. DC Comics even had a character named Beam Beagle, then of course there’s Uno.

Looking for more info? go on over to beaglefreedomproject.org.

That about wraps it up for this post.

See ya in May!





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