Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Interview: Beagle Freedom Project founder on what you can do to help research lab beagles

To read Part 1, click here.

The day before we told you about the Beagle Freedom Project's latest rescue. We are still getting more details, but so far we know that BFP is getting 10 male beagles from somewhere in the Midwest. They will then find homes and help the beagles become acclimated to life outside of cages. This is Beagle Freedom Project's 11th rescue.

One of the beagles in Beagle Freedom Project's latest rescue.
I interviewed Shannon Keith, founder of the Beagle Freedom Project. I posted part 1 of the interview the day before. Here is the second part of that interview, where we continue the focus on the AstraZeneca campaign, and what you can do to find and help lab beagles by you.

  1. Aside from writing the emails, is there anything else people can do to help with [the AstraZeneca] campaign?
    Supporters of the AstraZeneca dogs can do what Beagle Freedom Project is doing and using their ethical malfeasance as an opportunity to talk about the issue. We have done a number of media interviews about dogs in animal testing because of AstraZeneca and influenced countless thousands to boycott AstraZeneca's products and all other products tested on animals. It is our obligation to not let these dogs die in vain, something more profound must be born from it. We will continue our efforts to cajole the company and we are building an international network should one or all of the dogs become available and need homes fast. We at Beagle Freedom Project are also daily inspired by the level of creativity some supporters have in drawing attention to the issue. We encourage supporters to find their own voice instead of this campaign limiting them to email.
  2. AstraZeneca's officials keep saying that these dogs can't live normal lives, but you can prove otherwise. Can you walk me through what it takes to get a dog from taking its first steps outside a lab to going home with a forever family?
    We can cite over 100 examples of these “purpose-bred for research” beagles successfully adapting to home life and becoming treasured additions to families. This is the most cynical of rationale we have ever heard. The journey each beagle takes from the lab to the couch is different for each dog and depends on the violence they suffered in the labs. Some of our beagles adapt right away and love people, soaking up as much human affection as they can. Some of the other beagles take much longer to trust and know that they will not be harmed. One of the dogs just for the first time climbed on his adopter's lap, after 8 months of living in her home. The key to their success is a lot of patience and unconditional love.

    Beagle Freedom Project has a trained group of foster parents who take the dogs in once they have been released and received their initial veterinary treatments. We work with these fosters closely to assess each dogs progress and personality so we know they when they are ready for a forever home and the right one at that.
  3. What can people do to help Beagle Freedom Project, especially if they don't live in California?
    People can help Beagle Freedom Project no matter where they are. First, it should go without saying that we always need financial assistance. The rescue missions and veterinary costs can often be prohibitively expensive, but we will never let a laboratory beagle be killed simply because of money. We are always grateful for any donation.

    Second, people can sign up to be a Beagle Freedom Project volunteer. This spring we are going to be initiating a number of nationwide campaigns and asking people from everywhere to help us with this outreach. Supporters can sign up at

    Third, buy and wear our merchandise. So many people have contacted us because they have see a stranger wearing a t-shirt and then looked up our website!

    Fourth, never every buy anything tested on animals. Be a cruelty-free shopper and encourage all your friends and family members to do the same.
    [Editor's note: you can find a guide on the Leaping Bunny website.]
  4. If people know of a lab with beagles near their home, what can they do to try to reach out to that company?
    If you know of a lab near you that uses beagles in their research and you know someone that works there, get in touch with Beagle Freedom Project and let us help you. Contact us at
  5. Anything else you'd like to add?
    The only reason that these laboratories exist is because they are successful at keeping it their dirty little secret. The more exposure they get, the more susceptible to public scrutiny, and the better the chances at getting legislation passed to end this once and for all.

    Please share our organization with everyone. Watch and share the videos and be a voice for the thousands of dogs suffering in labs right now who cannot speak for themselves. 
Some of the beagles in Beagle Freedom Project's latest rescue.


  1. Thanks for the info. We didn't know they used beagles in labs ;>( How very awful. We will do what we can to help.

  2. BFP and the plight of laboratory beagles is near and dear to my heart...I have written on the subject a couple of times myself. Your interview helped me learn so much more about it, thank you! I will be sharing it on my Facebook page also. It is so important that we get the word out as much as possible!! I love to see other bloggers doing their part!

    1. Thanks for stopping by and reading it. I don't know if you'll see this, but please send me your Facebook page, so I can like it. :)

  3. Great interview about BFP! :-)

  4. Fantastic interview - thank you and Shannon both.

    1. Thanks, Gary! And thank you for putting me and Shannon together for this! I hope I help you guys do some good.


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