She repurposed an animal testing site into the Beagle Freedom Project, a rehab sanctuary for rescued animals

The Beagle Freedom Project aims to provide animals used for scientific testing a safe haven.

the beagle freedom project
Picture from the Beagle Freedom Project’s Instagram

Shannon Keith, an Animal Rights Lawyer, was always sensitive toward all animals, particularly those utilized in labs for scientific purposes.

She would write letters to animal testing sites across the United States, but they nearly always went unanswered.

In 2010, she established the Beagle Freedom Project to rescue and rehome animals exploited in research facilities. Beagles are the most widely used dog breeds for animal testing purposes.

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Finally, John Riner, the owner of Animal Health Innovations in Nowata, Oklahoma, responded to her in 2021.

Riner’s animal testing facility housed approximately 200 dogs and cats, and he followed standard protocol by euthanizing the animals once their use was complete.

However, as time passed, he experienced a sudden change of heart, prompting him to contact Keith after getting several letters from her.

Riner feels that animal testing is vital to ensure the safety and effectiveness of products; he does not abuse animals, and they only experience “slight discomfort,” as told to The Washington Post.

the beagle freedom project

Picture from the Beagle Freedom Project’s Instagram

Instead of euthanizing the animals this time, he decided to shut down the facility and donate all the animals to Keith and her team.

That’s when Keith thought of taking over the 30-acre facility and transforming it into an animal sanctuary.

After much negotiations, she acquired the site and is currently working on turning it into a rehabilitation center for all the scared and anxious animals, many of whom suffer from various health ailments.

The Los Angeles-based non-profit operates majorly on individual donations and their dedicated staff and volunteers.

Keith plans to build a senior dog facility on the property, equipped with orthopedic beds, water treadmills, and ramps, to enable elderly dogs who have spent their lives as test subjects to acquire strength and socialization skills before being rehomed.

She also plans to establish a cat-friendly environment and welcome guests while educating them about animal testing.

The Beagle Freedom Project not only rescues and rehomes lab animals, but it also advocates for them.

the beagle freedom project

Picture from the Beagle Freedom Project’s Instagram

The Beagle Freedom Bill, which mandates labs to provide healthy dogs and cats for adoption once trials are completed, has been passed in 13 states, including California, Maryland, and Virginia. The non-profit organization is aiming to make the measure a federal law.

Users can now know if an item has been tested on animals by using a free app called Cruelty Cutter, developed by the Beagle Freedom Project.

Keith believes that after the FDA Modernization Act 2.0 was approved in December 2022, which allows for the adoption of alternatives to animal testing to examine the safety and efficacy of new pharmaceuticals, the animal testing sector will continue to shrink.

She is happy that an animal testing center has been converted into an animal sanctuary, and that small steps in the right direction could alter the course of the future forever.

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