Seven lab beagles were rescued from a research facility at the Texas-Mexico border. The animals had never ventured outside of an experimental laboratory before, so having their paws actually touch grass and get a whiff of fresh air was a culture shock to the canines aged from 2 to 9.
Today describes the urgency of what the Beagle Freedom Project had to accomplish before taking the pups into their custody on Tuesday.
Shannon Keith, the president and founder of Beagle Freedom Project, tells Today:
“This was a tricky rescue. We had very little time to get them and set up appropriate foster homes.”
Beagle Freedom Project was launched in 2010 and has since found homes for 250 animals in 30 different states. The group reaches out to laboratories so they can save dogs they no longer need for research. In this instance, the lab told them they needed to act quickly or they wouldn’t get the beagles.
This is the first rescue that the organization executed in the state of Texas. Keith explains the condition that the dogs were in when they went in to get them:
“They were in pretty bad shape. Some had cuts all over their faces. They were very, very dirty and very, very scared.”
These dogs had never seen the outside of a lab and didn’t know how to act once they took in some fresh air. Keith says they were in complete fear after the rescue. She shares:
“We carried them out of the transport vehicle and placed them in the backyard in the grass and let them be free for their first time. Some of them started eating the grass right away, but some were standing in shock, not really able to move. They were so scared.”
The animals were out of their dark environment and unsure about their sudden surroundings away from a cold, toxic setting. Keith says the dogs didn’t even know what treats were and that only two of them would eat them. All seven dogs went home with foster families and are now doing much better. The first day or so was difficult for the pups; in fact, a few of them still avoid human contact altogether.
Every one of the dogs are on antibiotics and will be spayed and neutered next week. They’ll remain with their foster families for at least one month before being placed in permanent homes.
Keith says the seven beagles rescued from the lab are doing “amazingly well.”
[Image Credit: Beagle Freedom Project via Today]