POTOMAC, Md. (WUSA9) -- Beagle Freedom Project says it rescued seven beagles from a Virginia research laboratory who were only handled by humans for experiments. According to the non-profit rescue organization, the dogs spent their lives caged and inside a concrete room, but will now be placed into foster homes.
According to Beagle Freedom Project officials, the beagles have missed out on interacting with other dogs, playing with toys and human affection.
"Until now these dogs were known only by a tattooed number etched in their ears. My organization exists to give them names. They are not test-tubes, but dogs no different than the ones 60 million American's share their homes with," said Beagle Freedom Project President Shannon Keith.
According to the organization, it's rare that research animals get the chance to be adopted by families. Officials say this is rare because most laboratories "destroy the dogs after the test ends, even if they are otherwise still healthy" our of fear of public disapproval of the experients. Furthermore, the organization says 96 percent of the 70,000 dogs still in laboratories are beagles. The organization says beagles are preferred because they are "docile, forgiving and people-pleasing."
In Potomac, Md. on Monday, Beagle Freedom Project took the seven beagles they rescued out for a photo op. Journalists and others were able to see the dogs walking outside in the sunshine, touching grass, playing for first time and interacting with other beagles for the first time.
The organization say the dogs will go immediately into foster care with pre-approved families until permanent adoptions can be arranged. The organization has named the beagles after the seven United States founding fathers: Washington, Jefferson, Adams, Franklin, Hamilton, Jay, and Madison.
To learn more about the organization go to: http://www.beaglefreedomproject.org/