Watch Rescue Beagles Put Their Paws On Real Grass For The First Time

Five beagles who have spent almost their entire lives in metal laboratory cages felt grass beneath their paws for the first time last week.

The dogs, freed from a South Korean laboratory in February, can be seen tentatively stepping out of dog carriers in Los Angeles in a video published by the lab animal rescue group Beagle Freedom Project, a branch of animal advocacy organization Animal Rescue Media Education, on Monday.

One pup in particular can be seen holding back, apparently fearful of his new surroundings. “They just have to learn they are now safe, secure and protected,” veterinarian Dr. Steven Manyak-Royzman says in the video.

Ten dogs in all were rescued from the lab through a partnership between the Beagle Freedom Project and three Korean animal welfare groups. Five of those dogs found homes in South Korea last month, but the remaining five could not be placed and were flown to adoptive families in the United States in April.

The dogs, all male, have spent most of the last six years living inside cramped cages shown in the video. At the lab, they were known only by numbers, but have been given names by their new human families. According to the Beagle Freedom Project, the laboratory had planned to euthanize the dogs before rescue groups became involved and convinced them otherwise.

The rescue organization did not release the name of the laboratory or details about the nature of the research that involved the dogs.

Beagles specifically bred for lab use are frequently used forbiomedical research as well as in toxicity tests for pharmaceuticals and industrial chemicals. The breed is commonly chosen not only because of the dog’s small size — which makes it easy to keep many of them in a —> Read More