Every year, about 70,000 dogs are tested on in labs in the United States, reports KTLA.
The dogs are often used in surgical experiments and toxicology tests, according to LA journalist Lu Parker. It's common for labs to remove the dogs' vocal chords so their cries don't bother the technicians, and Parker alleges that some facilities beat and kick the dogs. Parker also called attention to the fact that only last week, a North Carolina grand jury indicted four lab workers on 14 felony animal cruelty counts. This charge was groundbreaking, since it is legal to test on dogs.
One of the most commonly used breeds is the beagle. PETA's Lindsay Rajt told KTLA that "The people using animals in testing like the beagle because they are small dogs, friendly and docile. They can be manipulated."
PETA has a guide listing companies that do and do not test on animals. There is also an iPhone app for more information about animal testing. Find out more about helping the Beagle Freedom Project here.
PETA's list of companies that test on animals shows that the widespread practice involves some of America's favorite products. Additionally, animal testing is responsible for thousands of useful medical treatments, from cold medicines to blood transfusions, according to Research Saves (PDF). The Foundation for Biomedical Research's Frankie Trull tells NBC Chicago that research on autism, paralysis, leukemia, diabetes, and numerous other medical issues directly benefits from animal testing.
Watch Parker's KTLA report with video of both freed and caged lab beagles.