VIDEO, PHOTOS: First sniff of freedom for beagles rescued from lab testing

A touching video of nine beagles getting their first taste of sunshine after being rescued from an American animal testing lab has gone viral on Youtube.

The Beagle Freedom Project rescued the beagles from an animal testing lab in Nevada, in the USA, and introduced them to a new life in the backyard of a Las Vegas support of the group on May 6th.

After uploading the video to Youtube two days later it received more than 1.7million views and 5,790 likes in less than a month.

Although tentative at first, the beagles quickly took to their new surroundings and were soon sniffing, bounding and playing with each other in their new environment.

One of the more curious members of the group even managed to sneak his way under the fence and took a quick dip in the swimming pool on the property.

VIDEO: Watch the beagle rescue unfold below.

The beagles were released one by one and each time a new member of the group arrived another dog raced over to welcome them to their new surroundings.

However, despite the dogs being at ease with each they were still fearful of human interaction and and four of them were constantly looking for a spot to take sanctuary in behind trees, bushes and an old wooden pen.

"This is an understandable anxiety built up after years of violence and trauma. With patience, tenderness, affection, and plenty of delicious treats they will learn to trust again," a spokesperson for the Beagle Freedom Project said.

The rescued beagles were also given names, after previously only having identification numbers. They were named after honor of  famous Las Vegas names including the Rat Pack – Frankie, Dean, Sammy, and Joey and Wayne, Barry, Peter, and Tommy. 

"These animals deserve a chance, and given the proper care, most of these animals can have very full lives," Las Vegas Senator Mark Manendo told The Las Vegas Review-Journal after the pups were freed.

"They have given themselves to science and should at least have the opportunity to get adopted and have a forever, loving home," he said.

Manendo is currently working with the Beagle Freedom Project on a bill that seeks to limit animal testing in Nevada. 

For more information about the Beagle Freedom Project visit their website: www.beaglefreedomproject.org/

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