Many people were shocked by Last Chance for Animals’ footage which was shot at ITR Canada, a research laboratory in Montreal and recently shown on CTV’s W5. Amongst the animals subject to ill treatments are beagle-type dogs. In fact, beagles are commonly used for animal experimentation. Sadly, their small size and their very docile temperament make them ideal candidates to undergo various tests – whether in the pharmaceutical, medical or cosmetic field.
Eclipse is one of them.
Prior to being rescued in 2010 by Carolane, a Montreal SPCA employee, this little dog had been used as a ‘guinea pig’ during her first four years of life. Her days consisted of being anesthetized, force-fed pills and injected with various drugs. Life in a laboratory is a routine of hell for these animals; confined in their cage, they are deprived of any physical and mental stimulation throughout their short life. The majority of these animals will only know a life of suffering; they will never see daylight, be able to play, be loved, or enjoy the comfort of a real home. Rather, most of the animals who survive these tests are euthanized after a few months or years.
Luckily, this wasn’t Eclipse’s destiny, as she was fortunate to have been saved through a special program, and was quickly adopted by Carolane and her family. “Upon arriving home, Eclipse wouldn’t stop rolling around in the grass, and she just wanted to be held in my arms!”
Although her adoption brought the family great joy, they also encountered many challenges along the way. Despite that Eclipse integrated very well with the other animals in the household, she remained anxious. Leaves falling from trees, cars and stairs would scare her. Housebreaking was also a big challenge to overcome; in fact, it took two years before Eclipse would do her business outside. With hard work and dedication, Carolane and her husband succeeded in training her. “She’s so brave and she always has such a big smile! She has adapted perfectly into her new life, which she shares with us and our three-year old daughter, Abigaëlle,” explains Carolane.
Eclipse is now 11 years old and lives peacefully with her family, on a large lot in the suburbs of Montreal.
Here is a touching video by Beagle Freedom Project which shows rescued laboratory dogs seeing the outside for the very first time:
You too want to help laboratory animals?
The Montreal SPCA encourages citizens concerned by the ITR Canada situation to take action by:
Writing a polite letter to the MAPAQ and MERN asking them to take action in the case of ITR Laboratories and asking for legislative changes to provide appropriate protection for ALL animals in laboratories: firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com
Selecting cosmetics and house-hold products that have not been tested on animals. Click here for a list.
Marie-Noël Gingras works in the Department of Animal Advocacy at the Montreal SPCA. In the past few years, she has collaborated on numerous projects related to animal rights and welfare (the Vert et Fruité and Vegan Portraits blogs, the Montreal Vegan Festival), as well as collaborated with the Défi végane 21 jours book, published in spring 2016 (Éditions Trécarré). You can follow her on Facebook.