Friday, July 02, 2010

The Great Beagle Escape

The Great Beagle Rescue. The Freegles. Beaglemania.

Whatever you want to call it, Pets Alive and Best Friends rescued a large group of beagles from a failed research lab in New Jersey today.

I thought I was on the unload end when I headed up to Pets Alive today but the team pulling the dogs needed some supplies, so I loaded up the truck and GPSed the destination, an idyllic country setting in a beautiful area of NJ.

At first glance it looks like a farm. You probably wouldn't even look twice on your way by. But it's not, it's an animal research lab compound. The "barn" in the photo is a fake, a concrete building that's been dressed up to look like a barn. Four vans went in with teams of two loaders, one van at a time, and loaded up to take the beagles to freedom.

They're an awesome group. A little scared (understandably!) but very social, very friendly. The vans brought them back to Pets Alive, where pens have been built just for them in a pasture.

So many first for these guys. First time walking on grass. First time on a leash. And some of the best firsts of all as they were paired up and had playmates for the first time in their adult lives, and they started to play. To explore. To bask in the attention from their adoring public.

If you've ever wanted to get started volunteering with an animal rescue, now would be a fantastic time. There's a lot to do with these guys and with the rest of Pets Alive's animals (dogs, cats, horses, goats, birds...). As much as anything, these guys just need some socialization, some loving guidance, and some fun! They're great dogs to hang out with.

It's fantastic to see two orgs who have had their differences put them aside for the good of the animals and collaborate on such a wonderful and worthy project - one that any and every animal lover can get behind! I've never been prouder to be a volunteer for Best Friends and Pets Alive.