WATCH ITV News Meridian's Joe Coshan reporting near Ashford.
Seven Beagles rescued from a 'cruel' European testing laboratory will experience their first taste of freedom in 12 years.
The dogs are being taken to The Retreat Animal Rescue Sanctuary near Ashford in Kent today (Wednesday 23 August) and have been lined up for loving homes.
For some of them, it'll be the first time they've seen daylight and had free running space after being born in testing facilities.
There are 5 boys, named Jonesy, Davey, Ringo, who are 11, Elton and Freddie and 2 girls Olivia and Birdie.
They all have dermatitis, three have had surgery for ruptured cruciate ligament, and they are all suffering from very bad dental hygiene.
According to Beagle Freedom Project UK, Beagles are chosen specifically for animal testing due to their docile natures, and testing happens in the UK at scale.
Samantha Kester, Rescue Associate Beagle Freedom Project UK explains the foster process: “The foster carers role is to prepare the dog for their forever home, but this isn’t an easy task. The dogs are newborns in adult bodies, with many suffering from PTSD.
"They need to learn the most basic things like being toilet trained and walking on a lead. Foster carers are interviewed, along with home and reference checks, as we need to be certain that they can handle the responsibilities and have the patience required.
"We offer full support including training, and plan, and pay for all of the veterinary visits to help smooth the transition, and require a ‘normal’ well-adjusted dog already in the home to help teach the rescue how to be a dog.
"Once a foster is approved, we match them with a dog, and the rescue release is often the first time they meet, which is always an exciting time.”
"These beagles represent the countless animals still suffering in labs, and their newfound freedom ignites our passion to continue working towards a world where no animal is subjected to needless experimentation."
All dogs are going for thorough vet checks and all treatment is paid for by BFP during the foster period.
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