Grab a Tissue: Two Beagles Used in Animal Testing Get a Second Chance
Abe and Davey were born to a Beagle breeder who sold them at a young age to a laboratory. The Beagle breed is one of the best for lab environments, due to their sweet, loving and docile nature. Their compact bodies make them cheap to feed and ideal for small cages.
Dogs like Abe and Davey are still being used as subjects for animal testing in the United States and abroad. In the United States alone, 70,000 dogs are being used to test household products, cosmetics and medical/pharmaceutical purposes. Instead of a name, these dogs have a number tattooed to the inside of their ear. They spend most, if not all, of their lives inside small metal cages. Alone. The only time they ever step foot outside of their cage is when they are going to be tested on or euthanized.
After the dogs are no longer deemed useful, some labs will help in finding the healthy dogs homes. Some do not.
In February 2013, Abe and Davey were scheduled for euthanasia. The Beagle Freedom Project, a service of Animal Rescue, Media and Education (ARME) founded by Shannon Keith, stepped in and offered their services. Ten Beagles were pulled from the Midwest lab and transported cross-country to North Hollywood, California, where they experienced life outside of a cage for the first time.
Most of the dogs did well when released, except Abe. Abe who had spent years in isolation with no human or animal interaction proved that this was the worst kind of deprivation…lack of contact. Davey was hesitant at first but soon warmed to hugs and kisses. According to April Curtis, Abe and Davey’s foster, Abe “looked as though he was going through post-traumatic stress disorder.” He was in shock. Fortunately, Abe had an ally.
After that first day, Davey looked after Abe. They were inseparable brothers. Now they snuggle together. They sleep together. April attests that Davey saved Abe’s life.
April reflects on Abe’s transformation, “Now I see a sweetness and gentleness and happiness.”
Since first filming this story in March 2013, Abe and Davey have been adopted together. Abe continues to reach new milestones each day with the guidance of his ever-present brother.