Indianapolis, Indiana – A growing number of celebrities want to put an end to animal testing. And, to show they mean business, they’re adopting dogs rescued from research labs.
Miley Cyrus adopted a former lab beagle named Barbie in 2016 through the Beagle Freedom Project, an organization dedicated to rescuing animals used in experimental research. Cyrus even posted a photo of Barbie on social media with the hashtag #stopanimaltesting.
Former Baywatch star, animal activist, and co-host of the popular Switch4Good vegan podcast Alexandra Paul has worked with the Beagle Freedom Project to foster dogs, rescued from research labs, until they could be placed in permanent homes.
Most recently, royal couple Harry and Meghan made headlines by adopting a 7-year-old beagle named Mamma Mia from Beagle Freedom Project. Mamma Mia was one of 4,000 dogs rescued from a notorious laboratory breeding facility in Virginia.
Watch this short video about Harry and Meghan’s adoption of Mamma Mia, now streaming on UnchainedTV!
There are currently more than 60,000 dogs being tested on in the United States and most of them are beagles.
They are forced to inhale and ingest large amounts of dangerous chemicals, are intentionally infested with parasites, or forced to run on treadmills until they have heart attacks. If these tests do not kill them, they are killed after the experiment has been finished.
“I think people are more aware now, more shocked that animals like your dogs and your cats — who you spend your life with, and who are your family members — are actually being tested on,” said Shannon Keith, animal rights attorney and founder of the Beagle Freedom Project.
And it’s not just dogs, every year in the United States more than 110 million mice, rats, frogs, dogs, cats, rabbits, hamsters, guinea pigs, monkeys, fish, and birds are killed due to laboratory experimentation, drug and cosmetics testing, and other forms of research.
What Can You Do to Help?
Buy only cruelty-free products.
The idea of an animal being subjected to painful tests for a household product is something that would upset most Americans. Yet, it’s happening on a daily basis. Beagle Freedom Project, and other animal organizations, urge consumers to take back the power by only buying cruelty-free products. Look for the leaping bunny icon to determine if any product is genuinely cruelty-free. And, there are APPs that can help too, like Beagle Freedom Project’s Cruelty Cutter APP, which you can download on your phone and use while shopping to determine if the product in your hand is really cruelty-free.
Before you buy, you can also check PETA’s comprehensive, searchable database to find out which companies do or do not test on animals. Make it a priority to use your power as a consumer to support only companies that do not participate in animal testing.
Donate to Rescue Organizations
The Beagle Freedom Foundation has lots of ways to donate. You can donate stock, sponsor a rescued pup, or even set up a fundraiser on their behalf. You can also donate while shopping by using Amazon Smile and selecting them as the recipient of your donation funds.
Foster or Adopt Animals Rescued from Research Labs
If you have the space in your home and in your heart, be like Miley, Alexandra, and Harry and Meghan and welcome a rescued lab animal into your family. The Beagle Freedom Foundation has an application process to make sure each of these dogs rescued from research labs get the life they deserve.
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Carrie Woods is a writer based in Indiana who comes from a family of journalists.