April 15, 2024

Bowlingual Dog

Animal Planet Directory

Over 200 Dogs and Cats Were Saved From an Animal Testing Laboratory · The Wildest

This week, the Beagle Freedom Project (BPF) announced that they have rescued over 200 animals from a testing facility in Nowata, Oklahoma. The Beagle Freedom Project — named because nearly 96 percent of dogs used for animal testing are Beagles — has found homes for 3,000 pets since its inception a decade ago. Most of these pets were saved from animal testing — cruel experiments that often cause permanent harm or even death.

Many of the animals in these facilities are bred specifically for testing, which means they live their entire lives in miserable conditions. “Typically kept alone in barren steel cages with little room to move around and few, if any, comforts, such as toys or soft bedding, animals often become excruciatingly lonely and anxious,” the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) reports. When the experiments are over, “animals are typically killed … so that their tissues and organs can be examined,” according to the HSUS. In some cases, the experiments are intentionally designed to result in death. 

The 30 acre laboratory in Oklahoma housed over 200 dogs and cats (plus a few pigs) in heartbreakingly uncomfortable conditions; they were kept outside in cold, small enclosures with only tents for shelter, or inside in tiny cages on hard concrete. The lab — Riner and Associates, also known as Animal Health Innovations Inc. — had been testing toxic ingredients on animals for the flea and tick industry for decades. 

The BPF has stepped in to rescue animals from the lab in the past, and the facility has received multiple citations from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). “We have seen first-hand, the horrors these animals have endured: their skin is burned, seared off and infected, they have seizures from the toxins, they endure maddening pain and discomfort while fleas and ticks are bred on their bodies and they are forced to wear cones so they cannot relieve the pain and itching, and so much more. We had to end this,” BFP Founder and President Shannon Keith told . “Rather than rescue the dogs and cats one by one, while the facility continued its cruel operations, several months ago, we took a chance and approached the owner of the facility about relinquishing his USDA license and ending operations.”

They were successful: Animal Health Innovations Inc. has shut its doors and its USDA license has been surrendered. “The importance of this monumental achievement cannot be overstated. Not only have we rescued hundreds of animals from being tested on and certain death, we have also created a pathway for others to do the same,” Keith told Augusta Free Press

And The Beagle Freedom Project isn’t stopping there. They plan to transform the sprawling space into an adoption and rehabilitation center that they’re calling Freedom Fields, where the rescued animals will receive the medical care, enrichment, and love they deserve. The space will include a dog park, cat cafe, catio, groom room, dog dens, and plenty of wide open space to play and rest — plus barns for farm animals and a visiting center where guests can learn about animal testing before meeting adoptable animals. 

The Beagle Freedom Project is requesting donations to help their continued efforts. Your donation could go toward veterinary care, food, comforts like beds and treats, pig pens, nurseries, or dog park construction. You can give any amount, or sponsor a Beagle for $500; this cost includes their transport to a foster home, coverage of their immediate medical needs, and monthly updates on how your Beagle is doing. You can also submit an application to adopt or foster one of the Beagle Freedom Project’s animals awaiting adoption.