This evening Beagle Freedom Project will bring three more Beagles to touch grass and see sunshine for the first time — yes, the first time ever.

At an average age of 2 years, these dogs have spent every second of their lives in a cage. Because of their friendly, docile, trusting, people-pleasing ways, they are used at universities and other research facilities to test medical/pharmaceutical, household products and cosmetics.

Watch here as rescued Beagles test out something much nicer than products: grass, sunshine and a little bashful cuddling:

This evening, a little before dinner time, three little boy Beagles will be added to the list of 11 rescues since Beagle Freedom Project began in December 2010, started by activist Shannon Keith.

“Beagles are being used because they are the kindest, sweetest, most forgiving dogs on the planet,” Gary Smith of Evolotus PR says. “By far Beagles are the most used type of dog.”

His public relations company signed on to the project to “Spread the message in a positive way.” Rather than the shock tactics that many animal rights campaigns use, he says.

The three little boy Beagle rescues that will crawl out of cages tonight at around 5:00 p.m. here in L.A. are younger than the group's past rescues. They are around one year. Smith speculates that maybe there was something that made them unsuitable for testing.

The rescue group knows no details. They offer full anonymity to the lab. “We just want to save these dogs' lives,” Smith says. “It's not about exposing specific labs, its about rescuing the dogs.”

Animal testing is a lucrative business which includes breeders who sell straight to testers and pet food companies who make specific food for animals in the labs.

When the animals are no longer good for testing? “They kill them,” Smith says.

Beagle Freedom Project looks to save the lives of the dogs and find them homes — and educate the public.

Can't adopt a dog? You can help by reading labels, Smith explains. “80 or 90 percent of all testing is for household products and cosmetics. The industry does a brilliant job to make the public think that most testing is for life saving drugs — and that it's all done on rats and mice.”

For links to help you make compassionate consumer choices, go to www.beaglefreedomproject.org, click on “get involved” and scroll down to “other ways to help.”

Contact Mars Melnicoff at marsmelnicoff@gmail.com / follow @marsmelnicoff

LA Weekly