BOSTON (WHDH) - Thousands of dogs used in local research labs are getting a second chance at life.
Frank Peabody, of Chelmsford, adopted two beagles named Daisy and Lily from medical research labs in Massachusetts.
“I suspect with my girls, they were part of an eye study,” he said. “I can see a small incision there.”
The Humane Society took undercover video of a lab in Michigan that showed multiple dogs locked up in cages as they underwent testing.
The group says dogs in some Mass. labs are living in similar conditions.
“Primarily beagles are used because of the fact that they’re friendly, they’re docile, they’re forgiving, everything that makes them a great, wonderful family member is what makes them a great test subject,” Peabody said.
The Humane Society says most lab dogs are euthanized when the scientific work is done.
“When it is an option to give an animal a new life, we should absolutely give them a chance to live out their days just like any normal dog and cat,” said Laura Hagen, Massachusetts state director for the Humane Society. “We owe it to them.”
Joann Lindenmayer’s beagle, Chewy, was given his chance. He is now running free after being kept in a lab for six years.
“Laboratories don’t want to maintain them the rest of their lives,” she said. “It costs money and who wants a dog to live its life out in a laboratory anyway?”
According to the Humane Society, 49,000 dogs are being used for research in the United States.
More than 9,000 of them are in Massachusetts labs — the most of any state in the country.
State Sen. Bruce Tarr wants these animals to eventually get a loving home.
He is sponsoring a bill that would require testing facilities to make a reasonable effort to offer the dog or cat for adoption.
“Let’s say a beagle for instance that’s undergone a lot of stresses and strains in research to help us maybe gets a chance to do something it never had the chance to do, which is run open in a field and enjoy life the way other dogs do,” Tarr said.
Lindenmayer, who is an advocate for the bill, added, “I think this bill is a good one. Gives dogs and cats that survive the research to be adopted into a loving home and have a real life.”
In the past, the Mass. Society for Medical Research has not supported this legislation but after working with Tarr to make some changes, the group is now backing the bill.
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