This is River (formerly King). He is one of the 150+ dogs rescued by Beagle Freedom Project. Did you know that 65,000 dogs (95% of which are Beagles) are used in torturous experiments every year in the United States? Let me say that again. 65,000 dogs. That's not even including rabbits, cats, pigs, ponies, etc. The Humane Society tells us that there are over 25 million animals worldwide in laboratories! To put that into perspective, that's the population of Texas.
If these animals survive these horrific experiments, the policy is to kill them because "the labs are not kennels or adoption organizations."
Here in California, The Beagle Freedom Bill has been introduced into the state legislature. It states, "that tax-payer funded laboratories in California must offer up the 'experimentally-spent' dogs and cats for public adoption through rescue organizations." There is also a similar bill in Minnesota.
There is so much more that Beagle Freedom is doing to save the animals. A lot of it more than I understand. I strongly encourage you to sign the petition for California and Minnesota. I urge you to follow Beagle Freedom on Facebook, Twitter and every place else they reside. Get their newsletters, donate, donate, donate, volunteer and above all else, buy Cruelty-Free products. It's much easier to buy these products than it was a few years ago. You don't have to throw everything out and spend a ton of money on all new products. Just keep in mind the next time you run out of something (cosmetics, household items, personal hygiene, etc.) that you should look for the Leaping Bunny (this is also an app) or the Bunny Ears. You can also make your own all-purpose cleaners with items from your pantry. Here's a link I like. Talk about saving money!!
Now, back at River's house, let's see how they thrive after being rescued.
I arrived at River's home the Saturday before Christmas. My mind was full of sugar plum fairies and red nosed reindeer… not really. I was behind on everything. Having a tween girl in the between stages of a teenager and still holding on to being a little kid, she was impossible to shop for. But once I was welcomed at the door by these faces, I was present once more with the mission I had set out for myself.
My pockets full of treats, River and his sister, Kobe, pretty much stayed this close for our entire shoot.
Mom and Dad (Deia and Aaron) just let us roam and play in the backyard. Deia and I spent most of our time talking about cruelty-free products. She knows them ALL! She was a wealth of knowledge for me. (And in case you wanted to know, I am a big fan of Jason products- found at Target, CVS and Whole Foods. LOVE THEM!) Deia also shared with me how eye-opening this whole experience had been for them. I agree. She now reads every label, learns everything she can about any product that enters her home. She's walkin' the walk.
Back inside, the delicious aroma of Deia's homemade mac and cheese filled the air. Like any good Beagle, River planted his feet firmly next to mom and focused on what was really important. I can't say that I blame him. I'd choose mac and cheese, too.
Well, I come to a close on my Freedom and Beyond series. I hope to continue with other success stories from BFP in the near future. I'll be begging Shannon Keith for more pups to photograph. If you hear from us, I hope you will make time for me, my camera and my pocket full of treats. I can't thank all of you enough for the love and support I've received. Especially the parents of Matzah, Percival, Spanky, Drummer and, River. To know that there are other crazy animal lovers out there just like me lets me know that there is good in the world. Special, special thanks to BFP, Shannon Keith and Monique Hansen for allowing me to do this. You guys are awesome.
"Dear Intelligent People Of The World,
Don't get shampoo in your eyes. It really stings. There. Done. Now f***ing stop torturing animals."