Grover the beagle approached the plush, red chew toy in Allyson Halms outstretched hand with caution before chomping down. While other puppies would have pounced on the oversized, bone-shaped squeaky toy, Grover is one of 10 beagles that never saw a toy until a week ago. "Some of them don't even know what treats are, said Halm, president of Adopt-A-Dog, a Greenwich dog-and-cat rescue group. Everything that happens with them is a new experience.
Grover is one of 120 beagles liberated from an abandoned testing facility in New Jersey on the July Fourth weekend. The company, AniClin Preclinical Services, kept them in steel cages and used them to test human painkiller patches. When Aniclin filed for bankruptcy, animal rescue groups moved in.
Members of Adopt-A-Dog collected 10 of the dogs, which are looking for new homes right now. Halm says they're two to six years old and were among the most outgoing of the AniClin group. Laboratory dogs, especially beagles, are unfortunately common, said Halm. Its going to take a special person to adopt them. They are complicated and they will need some rehabilitation.
In the spirit of the weekend, the members named the dogs for great Americans, such as Betsy (for Betsy Ross) and Eleanor (for Eleanor Roosevelt). Volunteer Zack Adams, who was trying to entice Clara (for Clara Barton) with a tennis ball, said, Im just loving them, trying to get them to play because they just dont know how to play. Halm fed treats to Louisa (Adams), the shyest of the group.
All the dogs are healthy. They were re-immunized, and must be neutered or spayed.
Adopt-A-Dogs shelter is located at 23 Cox Avenue in Armonk. If you're interested in giving one of these beagles a home, call 914-273-1674 or 203-629-9494 to make an appointment. For more information, visit www.adopt-a-dog.org .
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