For the month of December, I am donating 50% of proceeds from overnight visits and a portion of all other profits to the Beagle Freedom Project.
Beagle Freedom Project was founded in 2010, and works to find loving homes for rescued beagles who have been released from animal testing facilities.
Tests performed may include household products, cosmetics, medical procedures and pharmaceuticals. Beagles are chosen by laboratories above all other breeds because their temperament is so trusting, forgiving, and submissive.
For the past month I have had the privilege of working with Tobey, who was rescued from a laboratory in Spain that had shut down. Tobey, along with 39 other beagles from the Spanish lab, arrived in Los Angeles on November 23.
I met Tobey three days after he arrived in his new home, with his dad and two other dogs. He did not approach me like most dogs would, instead he paced nervously and repeatedly went in and out through the doggie door. I sat on the kitchen floor and patted the ground next to me, but Tobey continued pacing and retreating through the doggie door for over ten minutes before he finally got close enough for me to pet him.
Now, four weeks later, Tobey has made a lot of progress. Unlike many lab beagles who often have their vocal cords cut, Tobey can bark, and is starting to find his beagle bay. He has been accepted by his canine brother and sister, and although he is still figuring out dog manners, he is learning to play with them. They go for walks together and he loves to smell everything. He’s learning what toys are – but he’s still afraid of the squeaky ones. He gets excited and greets me at the door when I come visit, instead of hiding in his safe space. And the first time he jumped up and put his paws on me, I was honored that this little dog who had been treated so badly by humans, had decided to trust me.
This is why I wanted to use my first month in business to help Beagle Freedom Project. These beagles are ambassadors for animals used for research. They are more than disposable research materials, and more than just the series of numbers tattooed in their ear. They are more important than a tube of lipstick, window cleaner or toothpaste.
The fundraiser is almost over, but if you would like to make a donation on your own, you may do so through their website. But most importantly, you can help the beagles and other animals used for research by adopting a cruelty-free lifestyle. Virtually every animal-tested product in the average household can be replaced by a cruelty-free alternative. Please visit the websites below to find out how.
Leaping Bunny lists cruelty-free cosmetics, personal care and household products, and even companion animal care products.
Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine discusses animal testing alternatives.