1. What’s the story? Who, what, where, and why!
The story is that:
In September of 2017 our rescue friends at BeagleChina and their amazing volunteers managed to rescue over 25 beagles from experimentation from various laboratories throughout China. Most of these survivors were between the ages of 9 and 10 and suffering from serious health concerns.
Over the course of the fall, BeagleChina and volunteers were able to find adopters for half of the dogs, primarily the younger and healthier beagles. The remaining dogs were moved to rescue centers and cared for while their health was assessed.
Beagle Freedom Project (BFP) was contacted as the biggest name in the world of research animal rescue. Never saying no to any animal in any laboratory, the BFP team jumped into action and coordinated to relocate these lucky survivors to the U.S. to get them the best veterinary care and loving homes.
The beagles will arrive in the U.S. Thursday, January 11th and our gracious friends and rescue allies at The Vanderpump Dog Foundation are hosting their safe arrival at their fabulous West Hollywood facility.
This is not BFP’s first international research rescue mission, having successfully saved dogs from experiments in Spain, Greece, Romania, Mexico, the Netherlands, England, and Korea (Operation April & The Grampas).
2. The stories of the individual survivors.
Initially named by our incredible friends at BeagleChina, we are so excited to welcome these beagles to FREEDOM!
“Egg“: This sweet two-year old male beagle was sadly used in a depression experiment. Although energetic and loves playing with dogs and people, he is unfortunately experiencing early mild arthritis in his two front legs due to cage confinement.
“Little Eight“: She is a small year and a half old female used in intestinal experiments. She still has a long wire embedded in her abdomen that will require surgical removal.
“Little Five“: This two-year old female beagle was used in intestinal experiments. Like “Little Eight” she will also need the metallic wire removed from her abdomen. Otherwise she has been described by BeagleChina volunteers as very curious, but also stubborn like a beagle should be!
“Little Wolf“: She is another two-year old female beagle used in intestinal experiments. The same surgery is required and little is known about her personality yet. We can’t wait to find out!
“Mini“: She is a 9-10 year old female that is timid, but does seem to really like people being close to her. She also suffers from poor vision.
“Anna“: This little lady is a 4-5 year old female who is beagle through and through. She gets along great with other dogs and loves her food!
“Pudding“: This deliciously named 9-10 year old female beagle has a sad story. She is suffering from obesity, hypertrophy, and some vision impairment from Glaucoma. She sleeps a lot, and looks to be experiencing some depression. She gets along well with other dogs, but does not initiate interactions.
“Happy“: Is another 9-10 year old female beagle. Although a little older, she is energetic and loves her food. She suffers from obesity and hypertrophy.
“Lulu“: Like Happy, she is a 9-10 year old female beagle. She also has Glaucoma. She can be a little aloof and is not interested in much but eating (sounds like a beagle).
“Yoyo“: She is another 9-10 year old female beagle. She is on the heavy side and is also hypertrophic. It has been reported that she does not like to move much, but loves the company of people and dogs.
“Echo“: She is a 6-7 year old beagle. She is practically blind, but can sense light and her eyes do tear up often. She is very timid, but likes being touched and being with people.
“Paula“: Paula is about 1 and was rescued from a dog meat restaurant. She is naturally very timid but wants love and is ready for a quiet home where she can gain trust again.
“Clicker“: He is a one year old puppy. Clicker is good with people and other dogs. He craves attention and affection and is ready to play!
“Teddy“: Teddy is a three-year old male poodle mix. While not from a laboratory, he was an abandoned dog living at the Beijing rescue center where he became bonded and protective of other dogs (especially Clicker). He has not been able to find a home in China, so we are giving him a fresh start with the group of rescued beagles!
“Chubby“: Another non-beagle rescue, this five-year old mixed breed dog came from a Beijing construction site, where she was being confined and was destined to be the dinner of the workers. She has been very abused and walks with a limp, but through it all, is very friendly and loves people.
3. Why bring them to the U.S. and not find homes in China?
Only the remaining dogs that are older and suffering from special health ailments are being relocated to the U.S. to increase their chance of finding their perfect, permanent homes.
Our partners at BeagleChina did their best and successfully found local homes for over half of the dogs rescued, but requested BFP’s help with the special cases. BFP has already secured fosters for these remaining dogs so they can immediately go into family homes, begin their rehabilitation, and experience freedom!
4. Is it culturally insensitive to criticize the conditions of Chinese laboratories or canine meat markets?
Beagle Freedom Project is not singling out China for condemnation of cruel experiments on these gentle dogs, we universally criticize all animal testing no matter what the country of origin. Sadly, many U.S. companies actually contract their animal testing to China to take advantage of lax regulations concerning animal welfare. These U.S. companies are just as guilty as those actually performing the violent experiments.
With respect to the controversial practice of the dog-meat trade, BFP makes no apologies for opposing the practice, but we do so in a way that is meant to highlight the issue and not exploit it for fundraising purposes or to portray China alone as a perpetrator of violence towards dogs. We also roundly condemn uniquely Western practices of caging giant Orcas at Sea World, despicable canned hunts of African animals in Texas, and the brutal conditions of greyhounds on the racing tracks.
Animal cruelty knows no sovereign boundaries and so neither does our advocacy.
5. Why is animal testing moving to China?
Animal research in China is increasing, and some experts speculate that US researchers may look to China as a good move to avoid regulation and public scrutiny. Also, for years companies selling cosmetics and household products have been expanding into new markets like China where animal experiments are required.
6. How much does this sort of rescue cost?
Short answer, a lot!
When it comes to helping rehabilitate dogs rescued from laboratories, BFP spares no expense. After all these animals have endured as living little needle-cushions, they deserve nothing but the best and with immediacy. Some of these dogs are between 9 and 10 years of age and we don’t want to have another day wasted in their precious lives.
To fly 15 dogs to the U.S. directly from Beijing is not cheap, and the surgeries required to ensure their health and happiness will run into the several thousands. We think they are worth every penny though, and if you think so as well we would whole-heartedly appreciate any tax-deductible donation you can make!
7. What about dogs in labs and shelters in the U.S.?
They are the focus of 99% of our rescue work. BFP has saved well over 1,000 animals from laboratories in 38 states across the country and countless more from shelters, animal control, and abusive situations.
8. How is Vanderpump Dogs involved?
Lisa Vanderpump, internationally known for being a fabulous presence on Bravo’s “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” and “Vanderpump Rules”, is equally as famous for her passion for animals. One of her main campaigns has been to draw attention to the Yulin Dog Meat festival. Beagle Freedom Project has been honored to support her work in the past and attended her “World Dog Day” festival in West Hollywood.
When BFP learned we would need to bring a few of the lucky survivors from China to the U.S. we immediately contacted her Vanderpump Dogs Foundation to partner with. Her staff is graciously hosting the dog’s arrival and first steps of freedom at their West Hollywood rescue center, The Vanderpump Dog Foundation.
9. How do I support this rescue?
There are four critical ways to support this rescue event of the year.
Donate! This is a very expensive rescue and every dollar will be stretched to the maximum to ensure these dogs are healthy and happy.
Apply to adopt! While BFP has fosters lined up, we are seeking the perfect forever homes for these sweet survivors.
Spread the word! Socially share their stories on social media, especially the live stream on Facebook or the Instagram story with all your friends. Knowledge is power and the more we spotlight animal testing and cruelty, the better the chances to end it forever.
Go Cruelty Free! Download BFP’s Cruelty-Cutter smartphone app and make sure you purchase and promote companies that are cruelty-free, and protest and boycott those still choosing to test on animals.