Twenty dogs are getting a second chance at life after being released from their jobs Thursday as scientific research animals.
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The beagles had been part of a local laboratory the first seven years of their lives.
"It makes me sick. I think it's horrible," said Shannon Keith of the Beagle Freedom Project.
The beagles were released from the laboratory because they outlived their usefulness for scientists. Keith said scientists prefer this breed because they are easy to work with.
"Beagles are typically friendly, submissive and very forgiving," said Keith. "Injecting things into their bloodstream; they shave them and scratch things on their skin."
Keith couldn't say how the beagles were specifically used, but she did say they're all healthy and ready to be adopted.
Animal testing has been a controversial topic for years, even at the Four Paws Coonhound Rescue & Friends in El Cajon, where the beagles were initially brought.
Keith hates the practice, but Four Paws executive director Rebecca Stevens told 10News she understands it's usefulness. Stevens said animal testing led to the medical treatment she received for breast cancer.
"And if it wasn't for the medication, I wouldn't be here," said Stevens. "It's difficult, but we are not focusing on the life that they've lived. We're focusing on the life that they are now going to live."
Neither Keith nor Stevens could say which laboratory used the beagles.
"If we told you where they came from then they'd never release to us again," said Keith.
"We're hoping that we're seen as a positive on the research community to where more and more companies will call us," said Stevens.
They hope to be able to avoid destroying more animals and finding happier homes for them.
All 20 beagles are healthy and ready to be adopted.
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