LINCOLNTON, N.C. (WBTV) – Several animals got a real taste of freedom recently after a life behind the bars of animal testing labs.

The animals were brought across the border from Mexico on Friday by the Beagle Freedom Project. The rescue group for former research animals brought them to a farm sanctuary in Lincolnton.

The four dogs, five rabbits and two mice are now beginning a brand new life.

“When dogs touch grass for the first time, it’s an incredible experience,” said April Arrington of the Beagle Freedom Project. “These dogs have only known the strict harsh environment of a scientific laboratory. They’ve been forced inside crates and kennels and they’ve never been allowed to see sunshine, grass, or to know the loving touch of a human hand.”

One dog that was rescued, Winston, was used for different skin irritation tests for cosmetics and household products, according to Arrington.

All of the animals will be placed in foster homes until they’re ready for adoption.

Original Article: WBTV