Monday, January 2, 2012

Next Up, a Research Beagle!

A retired research beagle
Most people are surprised to know that dogs are used in biomedical research. The breed of choice? Beagles. They're small, have sweet dispositions, and easy to handle. While you could imagine the worst, I've been told there are strict USDA standards that involves regular inspections. The dogs are generally well cared for and socialized with both humans and other dogs.

Some laboratories will release dogs into "retirement" after they are no longer needed. Often these dogs have been used only for training purposes, as part of a control group, or have had only non-toxic materials tested on them. The dogs receive medical clearance before being released to rescues. 

Usually I shy away from taking in hounds because their bays would likely make my condo neighbors unhappy, but research beagles are bred to be quiet. (Imagine a lab full of howling hounds!) Since our rescue is working to take in numerous beagles at once because of a lab re-organization, we signed ourselves up for our very first beagle. She's set to arrive this weekend. 

However, I worry that...
  • these dogs have never seen the light of day. They've never felt grass on their paw pads. They've never lived in a house. It means many "firsts" and, of course, lots of housebreaking. I'm told they are fast learners and are often adopted pretty quickly as well. 
  • she'll be too stinkin' cute and sweet to let go! 


  1. gah! i want to foster a beagle!

    I'm such a sucker for a small hound... hence the two foster failures that now live in my house.

  2. Well, if you're ever in the place where you can and want to, I can contact you with a great beagle group in PA that we work with (but you might already know them.)

  3. Dental Students brother has two beagles! Theyre amazing!