Beagles and Animal Testing

I had a meet and greet in which I was asked to watch a Beagle named Alfalfa.  The parents explained that he was adopted and formerly used as a lab animal.  Now this is nothing new to me, nevertheless, I decided to go on-line and read more on this topic.  Upon researching dogs used in lab testing I found that Beagles were the breed most commonly used.  According to the American Anti-vivisection Society, the majority of dogs being tested on are Beagles.  Their docility makes it the ideal candidate for biomedical laboratories, universities, medical, and veterinary schools. And they are relatively small-sized dogs, so research facilities can house more of them. Beagles may not be effective test models, but it seems they are economical and convenient ones. (American Anti-vivisection Society)

Some of what I read was very disturbing.  According to One Green Plant, before a new pharmaceutical, pesticide, or chemical such as a food additive, is made available to the public, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration requires that it be rigorously tested on animals.  Beagles are poisoned with experimental substances – either via force-feeding, injection, or skin application – to measure toxicity.  Biomedical laboratories also use beagles for cardiovascular and pulmonary studies, cancer research, and testing prosthetic devices, to name a few.  Some veterinary and medical schools continue to use them even though feasible alternatives exist.  (

Dogs used in research are supposed to be protected by the Animal Welfare Act.  The Animal Welfare Act is the only U.S. federal law that covers animals in research. (The federal Public Health Service Policy on the Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals covers animals in NIH-funded research through recommended policy only, not requirements. While it has the power to inspect, it relies on self-reporting.) Enacted in 1966, it regulates the care and use of animals in research, testing, teaching, exhibition, transport, and by dealers.  While the USDA and the AWA  systems purport to ensure “humane” treatment of animals in labs, the system is plagued with loopholes that leave animals with little to no protection.  (

The sad reality is that very few Beagles make it out alive from these situations and those that do will hopefully end up in some type of Lab To Leash program which is designed to help beagles retiring from research facilities be adopted out.

Alfalfa was rescued by Happy Paws Rescue.  There are other rescue organization that focus solely on Beagles.  One of those are The Beagle Rescue League.  Their Lab to Leash benefits Beagles who have spent their lives helping us to make medical progress through their “work”.  When it’s time for them to retire, they get a request to help these very special retirees find their new and forever homes.

Below are some things that you can do to help:

-Please consider adopting or fostering one of these wonderful dogs.  You can also make a donation to any Beagle Rescue organization, no amount is too small.

-As consumers, we can vote with our money.  Consider purchasing cruelty free products.  You can visit the PETA website and see what companies do not test on animals.

– Call your federal legislatures to ensure that animals are not harmed in the process of creating or manufacturing cosmetics.

For more ways you can make a difference, please visit

Below are some photos of Alfalfa.  He was such a pleasure to care for and a sweet dog.

Handsome boy

Research facilities tattoo their ears for identification purposes.

Below are some links that you can visit if you would like more information.

SOS Beagle Rescue, NJ Chapter

The Beagle Rescue Leage