These scenes come from a rescue of laboratory beagles a year and a half ago, but they seemed a good way to start off a new year — and a touching reminder to appreciate the simple things we tend to take for granted.
Like grass, and fresh air.
The nine laboratory beagles shown here – like most beagles bred for lives in labs — had never been outside, seen or stepped on grass.
On June 8, 2011, they were rescued by the Beagle Freedom Project from an undisclosed research laboratory, and, with a six-hour drive ahead, allowed to romp in grass for the first time in their lives.
Watching them take those first uncertain steps is pretty moving.
The Beagle Freedom Project was started in December 2010 by Shannon Keith after he learned what beagles — the most popular breed for research because of their trusting personalities — go through in research labs.
Its mission is to rescue and find homes for beagles used in laboratory research.
Research facilities obtain beagles directly from commercial breeders, who raise them for that purpose.
According to the project’s website, university and other research facilities use the beagles for medical, pharmaceutical, household products and cosmetics tests. Some labs attempt to find homes for them when the dogs have finished serving science.
The project works directly with the labs, making arrangements to remove and transport beagles and place them in loving homes. All rescues are done legally with the cooperation of the facility.
Once rescued, laboratory beagles need to learn how to be dogs, and live as pets. Most have never seen children, cats, televisions, sunshine, or grass. They’ve not been house-trained, and are unfamiliar with toys and leashes.
The Beagle Freedom Project warns potential adopters that the dogs may be fearful of people initially, may have phobias from a lifetime in confinement or from being restrained, are likely to have been surgically de-barked by the breeder, and have an ID number tattooed in their ear.
Neither the project, nor those who adopt the dogs, know what specific kind of experiments the dog might have been involved in.
But dogs are quick learners and with time, the project says, “these dogs will learn how to become dogs, and their transformation will be amazing.”
Beagle Freedom Project is a service of Animal Rescue, Media & Education (ARME). Founded in 2004, ARME is a nonprofit advocacy group created to eliminate the suffering of all animals through rescue, public education and outreach.
(Photo and video from the Beagle Freedom Project)
Posted by jwoestendiek January 4th, 2013 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, beagle freedom project, beagles, breeders, cosmetics, dogs, experiments, laboratory, laboratory beagles, medical, pets, pharmaceuticals, rescue, rescued, research, science, testing
Sixty-five chained dogs, believed to be part of a dogfighting operation, were seized on Thanksgiving in Tennessee after firefighters discovered them when responding to a brush fire.
The dogs — mostly pit bulls and beagles — were removed from the property in Ashland City by Cheatham County Animal Control and the Animal Rescue Corps, a non-profit animal protection organization.
“We believe this is the largest dog fighting rescue in Tennessee history,” said ARC president Scotlund Haisley. He described the conditions the dogs were living in as “the worst I have ever seen at a dogfighting operation in my 22 year career in animal protection.”
The dogs were underweight, without food and fresh water and some had sores covering their bodies, officials said.
Animal control officials identified dog fighting equipment, such as a treadmill, fighting pen, and a spring pole used for strengthening dogs’ jaws.
All the animals on the property were taken to an emergency shelter outside of Nashville, where they will be assessed before being transported to rescue centers around the country.
Also taking part in the rescue were New Leash on Life, a shelter in Lebanon, Tenn.; Agape Animal Rescue out of Nashville; the Nashville Zoo and the Tennessee State Highway Patrol.
(Photos: Animal Rescue Corps)
Posted by jwoestendiek November 27th, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: 65, animal control, animal rescue corp, animals, ashland city, beagles, chained, cheatham county, conditions, dog, dog fighting, dogfighting, dogs, fire, pets, pit bulls, seized, tennessee
According to Klooff, what I need to do is get a golden retriever, or a Siberian husky, or a French bulldog — and then just wait for women to line up in hopes of dating me.
Based on findings in a survey conducted by Klooff, a new iPhone app for pet lovers, those are among the dog breeds that best attract women.
“Pets are great for lots of different things; for companionship, for fun romps at the park, and even for getting a date,” said Alejandro Russo, co-founder of Klooff. “That’s why we built Klooff, so people can express themselves through their pets. And possibly even find a little romance while at it.”
I find it revolting — maybe not Klooff itself, but this particular avenue the humans behind the app have chosen in a quest for publicity.
It’s dogsploitation at its worst. It reduces dog to an accessory — one that can help you “express yourself” and get you dates. It makes dogs the equivalent of those Axe products that purport to attract women, like flies to dog poop.
If the main reason you are getting a dog is to attract humans of the gender you are seeking — be it for a date or a long-term relationship — don’t get a dog.
If you are getting a dog for other reasons, but want to factor in which breed would serve you best as you go about your courting and woo-pitching, don’t get a dog.
If you think that a dog’s breed is all you need to know — that breed alone determines every facet of a dog’s personality and behavior, thereby making him 100 percent predictable — don’t get a dog, at least until you do a little more research.
Here’s a sample of their pun-laden press release:
Just what are the best breeds for singles?
It’s no secret that taking your dog for a walk during these upcoming dog days of summer is a great way to meet other singles, make a connection, and potentially land a hot date. But what dog breeds give men and women the best chance of getting a “leg up” on the competition in the “dog eat dog” world of dating and romance?
A new international poll on what goes on in one of the hottest singles scenes – at the dog park – suggests certain breeds are the “cat’s meow” in navigating the “ruff” world of dating, whereas others hinder their chances of success. The survey illuminates what types of dogs men and women should own to attract their next girlfriend, boyfriend, hookup, or soulmate…and which dogs to completely stay away from.
I will point out here that my dog Ace has gotten me dates — in fact, pretty much every date I’ve had in recent years. I would go so far to say that, while he smells much worse, he works much better than Axe deodorant, or body spray or hair styling products. But that’s an unexpected benefit, not the sole or even main reason he came into my home.
Although it was once the case, in today’s society most of us no longer choose dogs based on the work they can do for us – unless you are a shepherd, or a hunter, or a dog show ribbon seeker.
Today we choose them for companionship — for the love they bring into our homes, as opposed to the varmints they can chase away, or the potential suitors of our own species they might attract.
The Klooff app, though, is indicative of a mindset that still lingers – despite the evolution of dogs, despite the evolution of our thinking about them:
Looking at dogs solely in terms of what they can do for us.
The notion of getting a dog for the purpose of spicing up your romantic life is selfish — on par with ruining a pristine natural environment to feed your whims.
The notion that you should choose a dog based on how well its breed reportedly attracts humans of the gender you are seeking is equally unwise.
Klooff ranks breeds in terms of their ability to attract dates. The lists are based on a survey Klooff says is ”representative of 1,000 pet owners and non-owners.” It presents the results in countdown style:
The top dog breeds to attract men were:
2. Labrador Retrievers
1. Golden Retrievers
The top dog breeds to attract women were:
5. French Bulldogs
4. Siberian Huskies
3. Labrador Retrievers
2. Golden Retrievers
1. German Shepherds
Klooff is a newly launched mobile app that lets users create profiles for their pets, allowing them to upload pet photos and interact with other pet lovers, “and maybe make the dog park dating scene a little easier.”
According to Klooff, men who own retrievers are seen as “great dads,” men who own a Siberian Husky are seen as “manly,” and men who own bulldogs, boxers or Rottweilers are seen as “just a hook up.”
According to Klooff — and this is the one that bothers us most — the man who owns a pit bull or Rottweiler is seen as ”slimy” or “sketchy.”
Klooff calls their rankings “scientific.”
If you believe that, you probably own a Chihuahua.
(Photos by John Woestendiek)
Posted by jwoestendiek June 13th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: alejandro russo, animals, app, appeal, beagles, breeds, chihuahuas, dating, dating scene, dog, dog park, dogs, dumb, exploitation, french bulldog, gender, german shepherds, golden retrievers, iphone, klooff, love, mates, pets, pit bulls, pitbulls, poodles, romance, sex, siberian huskies, sketchy, slimy, stereotypes
Cricket has only been at the Forsyth Humane Society for a couple of days, but already the rubenesque Chihuahua has been on a special outing.
Tuesday night, Cricket, along with two beagle siblings named Daisy and Boomer — who are also up for adoption — were taken to Pups in the Park, one of five dog-friendly evenings of baseball planned this summer by the Winston-Salem Dash.
The Forsyth Humane Society, a sponsor of the event, will be featuring some of their adoptable dogs at each of them.
Cricket — and we’re guessing the dog was named after the insect as opposed to the sport – seemed to take all the festivities in stride. Not that Cricket, who has been put on a diet, was striding that much.
More often, the portly pooch was being held by one of the many humane society volunteers on hand to help out.
My son and I met Cricket earlier in the day when we showed up for volunteer orientation at the Forsyth Humane Society, where we’ll be pitching in from time to time in the weeks ahead.
Cricket, Daisy and Boomer all arrived at the game in the humane society’s mobile unit.
All were outfitted in “Adopt Me” vests and mingled with arriving fans.
Since we were volunteering, Ace stayed home, but I was reminded of him every time I saw this dog (left), his lookalike, except for a white patch on her chest. Coco was adopted from the humane society last year.
We also ran into our old friend Darwin, a three-legged beagle we met during a Pups in the Park event last season.
Posted by jwoestendiek April 25th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: adopt, adoptable, adoption, animals, baseball, baseball games, beagles, boomer, chihuahua, cricket, daisy, dog friendly, dogs, forsyth county humane society, minor league, pets, pups in the park, volunteering, volunteers, winston salem dash
It’s the one-year anniversary for 120 beagles who, around this time last year, learned the true meaning of independence.
Up until then, even here in the land of the free, they weren’t.
Instead, like thousands of other beagles bred and born for the sole purpose of laboratory use, they’d never experienced what most dogs take for granted — things like grass and dirt and running — and were destined, once their use in testing was complete, for something quite contrary to a loving home.
The beagles had been left locked in a research facility operated by Aniclin Preclinical Services in Warren County, N.J. after its parent pharmaceutical company went bankrupt. When their situation came to light, a judge order the dogs turned over to rescue groups.
One year ago, a group of them were welcomed to Pets Alive Animal Sanctuary in New York, where work began on socializing them so they could be adopted out as family pets.
This coming Sunday, some of them will gather for a reunion.
About 35 of the adopters stay in touch on Facebook, offering support and following each others progress through photos and stories.
They — and any of the others who adopted a “freegle,” as they are prone to calling the dogs rescued from the laboratory — are gathering July 10, from 12:30 to 4 p.m., at Kennedy Dells Park, 355 North Main Street in New City, New York.
Among those attending will be a beagle named Grace, who has her own Facebook page, called Saving Grace. Grace’s owner said that while word of the reunion has gotten out among those who stay in touch, other beagles adopted from the group are also invited, as well as everyone else who participated in rescuing them.
Shelters, sanctuaries, volunteers and staff are “most welcome to attend and meet the families and hear the stories of how the Freegles have been adjusting to the good life.”
(For questions or to RSVP, send an email to email@example.com.)
I met several lab beagles while researching my book — including some flourescent beagle clones in South Korea. In Texas, I interviewed the woman who cared for the beagles used in attempting to clone a dog at Texas A&M University.
Jessica Harrison, a graduate student at the time, was in charge of socializing the beagles and finding adoptive homes for them — not usually the case or fate of laboratory beagles — after their services in the lab were no longer required.
“What they teach them is to be still,” she told me. “As puppies, they teach them to just freeze when a person messes with them. We had to kindo of undo that and say, ‘No,we want you to move around and be excited.’
“We slowly exposed them to all the things they’d be exposed to in a family home — like TVs, mirrors, grass, trees, flowers, birds and bees. These dogs had never seen any of that. You put them down on the grass, and they’re like, ‘What’s this?’ It was kind of overwheliming. You get used to it, but at first it’s like, these are dogs, how can they not know these things?”
The use of dogs in laboratory research was declining, but it has jumped up in recent years, with much of the increase due to advancements in, and the promise of, gene therapy.
(Photos: Top photo from the Facebook page of Freegles Justice and Skipper; bottom photo by John Woestendiek)
Posted by jwoestendiek July 4th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: adopt, adopted, aniclin, animal sanctuary, beagles, best freinds, cloning, dog inc., dogs, experiments, flourescent, freed, freegle reunion, freegles, kennedy dells park, lab animals, lab beagles, laboratory, medical, new city, new jersey, new york, pets, pets alive, pharmaceuticals, rescue, research, reunion, sanctuary, science, shelter, warren county
The 120 beagles rescued from a bankrupt New Jersey laboratory earlier this month are learning life’s simple pleasures — chief among them, the joy of grass.
Having spent their entire lives in cages, the beagles were turned over to rescue groups on the 4th of July weekend. They had been left behind, along with 55 monkeys, when Aniclin Preclinical Services in Warren County, N.J., went out of business in April.
The beagles were taken to Pets Alive, where the video above was shot, and since then, in a joint effort by several rescue organizations — they’ve been taught how to be dogs, as opposed to specimens.
As of Friday, all but 15 had been adopted, and those were expected to be placed soon, Pets Alive reported on its website.
Some of the beagles have taken more quickly to freedom than others, according to this dispatch, on the Best Friends website:
“For the first few days, volunteers would show up at Pets Alive and want to walk the beagles. Ordinarily, this would be welcomed help. But before the Great Escape, the beagles had never been outside, so a common item like a leash is a foreign object from outer space. When everything is new, it’s important not to introduce too much at once because if the dogs become too overwhelmed they can withdraw and shock becomes an issue.
“But these dogs are resilient. Every day, they are increasingly curious and decreasingly timid. So after slow stepping it for a week, today, the walks began.
“With the help of wonderful volunteers, like John, the dogs were each walked more times today then all the days of their previous lives combined. For most of the dogs, it was a bit of a painstaking experience. Take a step. Stop. Look around. Step. Freeze. Move backward. Take a step.
“But while Rex was at the head of the class, little Millie was sitting in the back of the room hoping nobody would notice her. Millie is a sweet little girl who has captured the heart of all of us involved with the rescue. She has struggled with all the changes, at times being outgoing and jovial and then quickly changing to withdrawn and timid.
“Today, when a young couple came in to find a female beagle to adopt, Millie didn’t give them much to work with. She was curled up tight in her kennel, with her back to all potential adopters and her face tucked under her legs. Motionless, she stayed like a ball. Trying to shut everyone out. But something about this family told me Millie was the perfect dog for them…
“It took a good 20 minutes before Millie and the couple were warming up to each other. An hour later? Millie was strutting, on a leash, down the driveway with her tail wagging, heading home with her new family.”
(Photo: Rex running, by Becky Tegze / Courtesy of Best Friends)
Posted by jwoestendiek July 19th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: adopted, adoptions, aniclin, animal welfare, animals, beagle, beagles, best friends, dogs, experiments, great escape, lab, laboratory, new jersey, ohmidog!, pets, pets alive, rehabilitate, rehabilitation, rescue, research
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Posted by jwoestendiek July 4th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: aniclin, animals, beagles, best friends, best friends animal society, chemicals, dogs, donate, experiments, free, freed, independence, lab, laboratory, new jersey, news, ohmidog!, pets, pets alive, pharmaceuticals, receivership, released, research, sanctuary, utah, vounteer, warren county
A band of wild beagles is scaring residents on part of Long Island, WABC-TV reports — even though it’s nothing new.
Dot Faszczewski, of Orient Point, was walking her dog, Trapper, when she encountered two or three of them.
“I could hear them coming towards me, it was a ferocious kind of barking,” she said. “I quickly grabbed my dog and came running into the house, just as we got in the dogs jumped at the door. I thought it was just some wolves coming at me.”
The report noted the beagles have been a problem for many years — the result of dogs being abandoned by hunters for failing to meet “rabbit-catching quotas.”
Area shelters have been trying to round up the beagles, socialize and rehabilitate them and find them adoptive homes. Reports of the beagles being aggressive don’t surprise shelter officials.
“Certainly if they’re out in a pack and their starving and their freezing they’re going to become aggressive,” said Pam Green of the Kent Animal Shelter in Calverton. She said her shelter takes in about 40 beagles a year.
Posted by jwoestendiek February 3rd, 2010 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: abandoned, adopt, animals, beagles, calverton, dogs, feral, hunters, kent animal shelter, long island, orient point, packs, pets, rehabilitate, rescue, shelter, socialize, wild
Beagle Rescue of Southern Maryland, Inc. is hosting its fourth annual fundraiser and alumni celebration, Beagle Bash, on Sunday, September 27.
The event takes place at Countryside Kennels in Owings, from noon – 4:00 p.m.
Beagle Bash is a free event, celebrating all things beagle. Activities include games, contests, canine good citizen testing, swimming in the beagle pool, raffles, vendors and more.
“Beagle Bash is a wonderful event for the entire family, both the two and four-legged members, that helps raise funds for the care of our beagles all year long,” said Mara Melton, Founder of Beagle Rescue of Southern Maryland, Inc. “Our volunteers are able to reconnect with our dogs who have found their forever families and celebrate their hard work and dedication to finding loving and safe homes for the dogs that come to Beagle Rescue of Southern Maryland.”
Countryside Kennels is located at 9214 Boyds Turn Road in Owings.
Beagle Rescue of Southern Maryland was formed in 2001. The nonprofit, volunteer-run corporation has found homes since then for almost 900 beagles in need from Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, Pennsylvania and even South Carolina.
Posted by jwoestendiek September 15th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: alumni, bash, beagle, beagle rescue of southern maryland, beagles, celebration, countryside kennels, doggie doings, dogs, events, fundraiser, owings, rescue
I’m delighted to be holding the leash while John is away, since I’ve been a huge fan of ohmidog! since it got started at the Sun. I also love reading the comments of the other animal fans who read the blog. I live in Baltimore with my husband, Greg, and with Spencer-the-Beagle. When I’m not hanging around with them, I develop websites for small businesses and host them on my own server. Spencer and I mosey around the neighborhood, and we love visiting the Canton Dog Park.
The Spencer half of the team is an older Beagle who’s been with us for about five years. He came from BREW, “Beagle Rescue, Education, and Welfare,” a large “breed specific” rescue group. Beagles put up with a lot. Their cheerful dispositions, fairly small size, robust health, and freedom from most genetic problems make them great pets. Unfortunately, those same traits make them great candidates for puppy mills and drug testing labs. And while they’re highly regarded as hunting dogs, when their hunting careers are over, they’re often simply abandoned to their fates. That means that there are always a lot of Beagles in need of rescue, fostering, and permanent homes. BREW does a great job with a large network of Beagle-lovers here in the mid-Atlantic and ties to rescue groups all over the country. And their website is the greatest.
Spencer and I have a lot to talk about this week, and while we probably won’t be setting off in any new directions, we both hope you’ll come, sit, stay, and read!