Dogs rescued from testing lab now live in Phoenix

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By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver
By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver
By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver
By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver
By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver

PHOENIX -- A Phoenix family is playing a role in rescuing animals used in testing labs.

The Howells adopted two beagles named Harry and Kipper, who each spent years enduring cosmetic, medical or chemical testing.

Kipper was in a lab in Spain for five years, and came over in a shipment of 40 rescued beagles.

Harry spent seven years in a San Diego testing facility.

The type and extent of testing performed on the dogs is unknown.  

The rescue organization, the Beagle Freedom Project, agrees to not disclose the testing details when the labs give the dogs up.

"The labs don't like the public to know what they're doing to these animals, so the less information they have to give out, the more likely they are to allow the dog to be saved," Richard Howell said.

"Without the (Beagle Freedom Project), the dogs would be euthanized when the lab tests are done," Elizabeth Howell told 3TV.

Harry and Kipper have no lingering health effects from the tests, but they do have scars on their legs from IVs and constant blood draws. They also have tattoos on their ears.

"It's hard to imagine their first interaction with a human is someone tattooing their ears," Howell said.

Beagles are used in testing because of their smaller size and gentle, agreeable temperament.

The Beagle Freedom Project created a smartphone application called Cruelty Cutter, which allows users to scan barcodes to see if products have been tested on animals.

"We've changed shampoos, detergents and everything," Richard Howell said, as a result of using the app.