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Group Find Homes For Beagles Used in Research Labs

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GRAPEVINE (CBSDFW.COM) - The dogs bounce and dash around Danielle Morris. They don't leave her side. "Come on bud," she calls out to Dale, who's chewing a wood chip in the mulch in the open space at her apartment complex in Grapevine. "He loves those big pieces" she says, "I don't know why."

Chip and Dale are her life's center. The two beagles are very well-behaved; too well-behaved for stranger's eyes. They don't bark.
That's because Morris believes, their vocal cords were removed.

The beagles were rescued by from Morris adopted them a year ago. The two brothers served society well. They were experiments in a lab in Memphis when they were little puppies.

There are at least 2100 dogs and cats in research labs in Texas right now. Beagles are the preferred choice because of their friendly nature.

The labs donate them to the beagle freedom foundation once they've served their purpose. Many dogs have never left their cage. They've never felt grass or see the sky.

Morris and her fiancé went to Memphis to see the release of 7 such dogs. "We actually got to see them released for the very first time", she says. "they felt grass for the first time."

Shannon Keith, founder of the Beagle freedom project says the dogs have been through a lot. "They have substances poured into their eyes, into their ears sometimes they have parts of their bodies and things implanted inside them."

Sometimes their vocal cords are removed to reduce noise in the lab.

Animal testing has long been controversial. But, the research has no doubt led to advancements in science. The National Association for Biomedical Research says dogs have played a major role in everything from development of surgical procedures to blood transfusion.

Morris, a nurse by profession herself is conflicted about it. "It kind of gets hazy for me." She says. " I know there's a need for it."

For now, Chip and Dale bring her tremendous joy, " they're so excited to see you come home and that tail is going 100 miles an hour"
She's happy they are at a loving home and not a lab.

(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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