OUR COMMUNITY [ seva]
My husband and I have loved and owned beagles for years, but I must admit we had
not heard about the Beagle Freedom Project until a little over eighteen months ago.
Our adventure began when we viewed a short story on the evening news about forty
beagles that were being rescued and flown into LAX from a medical testing laboratory in Spain by a group called The Beagle Freedom Project. My interest was sparked,
and I began a mission to adopt one of these amazing dogs. My sister sent me a website showing one of the organization's first rescues: heart-breaking footage of these
beagles’ first steps outside their cages.
During the following days, I learned a great deal about the nonprofit Beagle Freedom
Project, formed in 2010 by animal activist lawyer Shannon Keith. To date, they have
been responsible for eleven rescues, and the beagles from Spain were rescue number
four. They are also involved in creating legislation to stop animal testing all together.
While I knew about the existence of animal testing, like many others, I seemed quite
comfortable with my blinders on. The Beagle Freedom Project opened my eyes to
the horrible, unnecessary cruelties that are going on all for the sake of our comfort,
beauty, and cleanliness.
A few weeks after I began contacting the Beagle Freedom Project, I finally received the
call that would change our lives. One of the beagles had been returned to Shannon;
we were on our way to LA! We met Bagel (soon to be Chief) and instantly fell in love.
While we were watching his emotionless face, frail body, and tail that did nothing but
curl between his legs, Shannon relayed the tale of the rescue. It was one of the most
amazing stories of selflessness, commitment, and love I had ever heard.
After a year of watching Chief morph from a scared, unsure “lab rat” into a confident
dog overflowing with personality, we joined the other 40 beagles at the "Spanish 40"
one-year reunion. We were lucky enough to adopt another one from this group that
needed a new home. The adopters, fosters, and all those involved with the Beagle
Freedom Project have become a part of our family.
Bringing puppies home is always fun and exciting, but not nearly as fun and exciting
as bringing an older lab rescue home that has been through God only knows what
and seeing what he or she will turn into with your love and support along the way.
The Open Cages Celebration Gala Fundraiser
at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel will raise
funds to support The Beagle Freedom Project
on September 8, 2013 from 5 to 10pm. Join
the community of human supporters for dinner,
a silent auction, live entertainment and more.
Kris Wood is a fourth and fifth grade teacher at a rural
Southern California elementary school, who is working
on a memoir about Chief and their adventures during his
first year of life outside a laboratory.
THE BEAGLE FREEDOM
ANIMALS USED IN LAB
TESTING IN LOVING
BY KRIS WOOD