Law to Save Beagles From Labs Makes History in Minnesota

Last week Minnesota made history when Governor Mark Dayton signed the first law in the nation that will give dogs and cats who are used in labs the opportunity to be adopted into forever homes when the research is complete.

Even though we value dogs, and many of us consider them members of our family, thousands are still experimented on and killed every year in the name of science. According to the Beagle Freedom Project, an estimated 65,000 dogs are currently being used in the U.S. to test cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, household products and other academic curiosities. Of those dogs, 95 percent are beagles, whose sweet and docile natures makes them good test subjects.

Sadly, after they’re done being “used” in experiments, it’s considered the norm to kill them. Now, thanks to the tireless efforts of compassionate lawmakers and the Beagle Freedom Project, healthy dogs and cats used in research in Minnesota will get the chance to get out and meet a different kind of human – the kind they don’t have to fear. They’ll get names instead of numbers and have an opportunity to get pampered and enjoy the simple pleasures in life with new families as they learn how to become dogs, overcome the trauma of their past and adapt to a new world on the outside of a lab.

Under Minnesota’s Beagle Freedom law, which was sponsored by Senator Scott Dibble and Rep. John Lesch, publicly funded research and higher education facilities will now be required to first offer dogs or cats used in research to animal rescues before euthanizing them.

The Beagle Freedom Project, which worked to support the bill, stated:

This law is simple, compassionate, and common-sense. If a dog or cat is used in a tax-payer funded research experiment and is healthy at its end the lab must offer them up to public adoption through a rescue organization like Beagle Freedom Project. No federal or state laws offer any protection to these animals when the research is over and the standard operating procedure for most labs was to summarily euthanize them… Until today.

Until the world is perfect and animals aren’t used in research to begin with, this law is an epic victory for the ones who are currently being used and more like it will hopefully be passed in other states soon.

New York lawmakers are currently considering a similar bill (S7475), and this April California lawmakers moved their own Beagle Freedom Bill (AB 2431) forward, which is now in the Appropriations Committee waiting for a vote.


Please sign and share the Beagle Freedom Project’s petition urging California lawmakers to pass its Beagle Freedom Bill, which will require research facilities to make animals available for adoption.

If you’re interested in fostering or adopting a former lab animal, or want to know more about current efforts to save lab animals, visit the Beagle Freedom Project.

Watch nine beagles who were recently rescued from a lab in Nevada by the Beagle Freedom Project react to freedom and the feel grass under their feet for the first time.

Photo credit: Thinkstock


Jim Ven
Jim Ven3 years ago

thanks for the article.

Alexandra G.
Alexandra G4 years ago

petition signed, thank you

Mark Donners
Mark Donner4 years ago

I support the death penalty for one reason.. for animal torturers. For instance vivisectors and the uneducated murdering scum who lurk in these labs. I think every single one of those lab workers and their managers and funders, as being among the worst possible criminals, should just be summarily executed, but throw them into the deepest darkest, roach infested hole for a year or so before putting them out of their misery.

Jennifer H.
Jennifer H4 years ago

This one is a double-edged sword. They will be allowed to be adopted out - Good. However, it is still allowing animal testing to continue - Bad. We need to move away from animal testing all together.

Camilla Vaga
Camilla Vaga4 years ago


Donna F.
Donna F4 years ago

petition signed. There are enough virtual research ways now--I don't believe we need to have animal research anymore. Poor animals

Susanne P.
Susanne P4 years ago

ALL animal experiments must be banned... the results don't prove a thing...

Elsie O.
Elsie A. O4 years ago

The next step has to be to start putting pressure on veterinary schools, where it is pretty much standard procedure for each student or group of students to be issued a dog at the beginning of the class, perform multiple surgeries on that dog, and then euthanize it. The students hate this, but they don't dare object.

Valraven N.
Valraven N4 years ago

Alicia - this time I have to disagree with you. This bill is a step in the wrong direction because it's like saying the "torturers" who are called "researchers" are acceptable. They are in fact cruel and the bill is letting them off the hook. They abuse animals, then they give the animals away instead of killing them. We don't need a perfect world to see this is all wrong, totally screwed up. We don't need a perfect world to realize these "scientists" are mentally deranged. How can they go home to their pets and families after what they do all day? It's all too sickening. The only progress is to start calling them what they are...not give them the decency of a bill.