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Beagles rescued from bankrupt lab

One hundred and twenty beagles who faced lifetimes being used in medical research experiments have been freed — just in time for the Fourth of July weekend.

On Friday, the beagles — owned by a research facility in New Jersey whose parent pharmaceutical company went into bankruptcy — were released to the care of animal rescue groups that, after socializing them, hope to adopt them out as family pets.

Beagles are bred especially for use in medical experiments and are used in research because of their affable and passive natures, their relative lack of inherited health problems and their mid-range size. These particular beagles are estimated to be between two and five years of age and have lived their entire lives in a laboratory.

Best Friends Animal Society headquartered in Kanab, Utah, and Pets Alive Animal Sanctuary, based in Middletown, N.Y., and Elmsford, N.Y., worked together on rescuing the beagles, who had been left locked in the facility operated by Aniclin Preclinical Services in Warren County, N.J.

The facility closed in April, after Aniclin’s parent pharmaceutical company couldn’t pay its bills, according to the Times Herald-Record in New York’s Hudson Valley.

A judge ruled that the beagles could be handed over to animal rescue organizations. Fifty-five primates were also removed from the facility and sent to a simian rescue organization

Pets Alive Animal Sanctuary welcomed the beagles to their new home this weekend, decorated in red, white and blue.

Best Friends, according to a press release, was made aware of the beagles’ dilemma through its Community Animal Assistance national helpline, which fields requests to help animals from around the country. Best Friends contacted Pets Alive, a sanctuary in the Lower Hudson Valley region of New York, which offered to take ownership of the dogs. Several other animal rescue organizations have stepped forward, each offering to take some of the beagles.

Best Friends is paying for veterinary care, food and transportation of the dogs from the facility. It will  be bringing back as many as 30 dogs to its sanctuary in Utah, including those who may need  more time and help before transitioning into family living.

“Best Friends is teaming up with Pets Alive in the New York area to help these beagles get the fresh start they deserve … one that’s long overdue,” said Judah Battista of Best Friends Animal Society.

“These dogs have been in a laboratory, too long without friends,” she said. “Since these dogs have never had the opportunity to discover their true lovable, comical, often boisterous nature, which makes beagles such a favorite family dog, Pets Alive and Best Friends are committed to helping these dogs discover their true personalities.”

“In this case, the cruel and unnecessary practice of animal testing was compounded by the abandonment of these innocent victims,” said Kerry Clair, executive co-director of Pets Alive Animal Sanctuary.

Those wishing to donate to the cause can visit www.bestfriends.org. or www.petsalive.com.

People who live near Pets Alive in Middletown, N.Y., are invited to volunteer their time to help feed, care for and socialize the beagles. To do so contact volunteers@petsalive.com.


Comment from Shauna (Fido & Wino | R.O.A.R. Squad)
Time July 5, 2010 at 5:34 pm

I am reading Animal Liveration by Peter Singer right now- if you haven’t already read it I would highly recommend it. I am learning a lot about animal testing right now- am I an idiot to say I’m shocked? I am.

I am incredibly happy for these fortunate beagles.

Comment from Brenda Sou
Time July 8, 2010 at 8:23 pm

Tell me more about Pets alive Program. Are youguys stoping the animals research. Give me update about stoping animals research

Comment from Diana
Time July 11, 2010 at 5:20 pm

I just adopted one of these poor babies from Save A Pet in Port Jefferson. He is a very sweet boy. I’ve had a beagle before and know how spunky and quick they are to voice their opinions :o). My Snoopy was 11 when he had to put down due to cancer. This sweet boy has yet to bark. He has minimal muscle tone and has a hard time going up just 2 steps. I guess that comes from being in a cage all of his 3 years of life. I am hopeful that in time, he will forget his past, gain muscle tone and find his bark. Today I am making chicken cutlets and white rice in hopes that will jump-start his chow-hound appetite. And to think, I’m actually looking forward to hearing a beagle bark!! If you want a great dog, please go and adopt one of these beautiful dogs, they need love and a chance at a dogs life!! I can assure you, in time, they will repay you with love and affection gallore!

Comment from jwoestendiek
Time July 11, 2010 at 6:25 pm

Thanks, Diana, for sharing your experience with ohmidog! We’d love to hear more about him and how he progresses. Please feel free to keep us posted.

Comment from Anonymous
Time July 12, 2010 at 8:26 am

“Beagles rescued”
Your story is featured today on oddtodd.com…daily good news…animal edition!

Ruth Alan

Comment from Sarah
Time July 13, 2010 at 4:18 pm

Does anybody know what sort of “electrical testing” was planned for these beagles if they hadn’t been rescued?

Comment from michele
Time August 19, 2010 at 11:22 pm


I also just adopted one of these beagles a week ago. She is still very slow and timid. How long did it take for your dog to gain muscle and find their bark?

Comment from Anne’n’Spencer
Time August 20, 2010 at 10:09 am

Michele, I’m the mom of a rescued Beagle and general all-around Beagle fangirl. I haven’t seen a Beagle as traumatized as these guys, but I’m thinking you can use your little girl’s natural Beagle traits to help her get over the strangeness and regain her health. I would suggest lots and lots of walks and outdoor time with just you. She has a world-class smeller, and the outdoors is just one giant fiesta of great scents for her to explore. If you have a fenced yard or off-leash park, that’s great. Make sure she is on a leash if she’s in the general outdoors. Even if you have a yard, take her on neighborhood walks as much as her stamina will permit. Start with very short ones. Let her read the “pee-mail” and enjoy all the other rich scents. Remember she’s not used to other dogs, kids, or adults, so be watchful. This will help her build up her strength. Dogs aren’t born knowing how to walk up and down stairs. Once she has gained some trust in you and your family, you can work on that by enticing her up with lots of praise. I’m with Diana on the chicken–I’m a real believer in it. I also believe in cooked chicken livers, gizzards, and hearts. You have to mash up the gizzards and hearts because a smaller dog can choke on them. The organ meats are very nutritious though not as easy to digest as the white meat. Dogs usually adore them. I know you and your Beagle girl will become the very best of friends–and you’ll have more than enough opportunity to hear that big bark.
Anne and Spencer-the-Beagle