This footage shows male beagles that were rescued from a California university animal testing lab seeing sunlight and stepping on grass for the first time.
The rescue mission, which happened in June, was recently followed by a much larger one from a lab in Spain. The group that undertook the cause, Animal Rescue Media Education (ARME), rescued a total of 72 dogs in the most recent effort, 32 of them having already been adopted in Europe, according to NBC Los Angeles.
ARME’s Beagle Freedom Project spokesman Gary Smith told the station that the beagles, all between ages 2 and 7, had lived in cages their entire lives.
Unfortunately, beagles’ notoriously obedient dispositions makes them ideal for experimentation. According to the Beagle Freedom Project’s website, they are the breed of choice for lab testing of pharmaceutical, household, and cosmetic products due to their ability to adapt to life in a cage and the fact that they are relatively inexpensive to feed.
When the beagles are no longer needed for research, some labs contact organizations such as ARME, who then work to find good homes for the dogs.
This heartbreaking (that soundtrack!) video was filmed back in June, when the organization brought nine beagles to Los Angeles to get a second chance at life. We dare you not to be moved by that first beagle’s initial tentative steps and soulful eyes.
ARME is a non-profit advocacy group and 501(c)(3) organization funded by tax-deductible contributions. Information on how to make a donation or adopt a beagle is available on the organization’s website.