Beagle in puppy laboratory horror
A 12-year-old beagle, locked up in a laboratory for a decade while chemical and breeding experiments were carried out, has become the face of a rising animal rights campaign tabled in state parliament.
Darcy the dog was scared of men in hi-vis shirts and loud noises when he was rescued from a puppy farm north of Brisbane in 2018.
His teeth were all rotten and he had a lump on the back of his neck, where it is believed experiments were carried out over 10 years, when he was confined to a small kennel and never got to touch grass.
Beagle Rescue Queensland approached a vet clinic north of Brisbane and took possession of Darcy and two other dogs who have all been rehomed.
Rescuers reported that he had been milked for breeding and never touched another dog during the time he was locked up.
Owner Margie Brookes said Darcy was timid and feared people when she first brought him home to Loganlea and introduced him to her other beagle eight-year-old Willow.
"We took Darcy to Cityvet at Waterford to get checked out and a lot of his teeth were rotten, so 15 were removed and the cyst on his back cut out before he started feeling better and eating properly," she said.
"He was malnourished and needed his tonsils removed and now suffers mild asthma.
"We have no idea what was tested on Darcy but he was milked for breeding."
After 12 months of getting used to his new home, he was chosen to lead a campaign to get animals recognised as individuals rather than as property.
Animal advocate Judy Rush, started a petition which asks parliament to ban animal experimentation, which is still legal in Queensland and to extend "legal personhood" to animals.
Ms Rush, a member of the Animal Justice Party, said 952 people had signed her petition but hoped more would join the cause before next week, when the petition expires.
She said many Australians had no idea thousands of animals were being kept at puppy farms and used in legal experiments and for breeding.
"These animals are kept in confined areas and subjected to inhumane tests that can cause permanent physical and psychological damage," Ms Rush said.
"The worst part is that they are deprived of social interaction, human contact, companionship and some, like Darcy, never feel grass.
"We want animals to be recognised as individuals rather than property so they will be acknowledged as sentient beings and granted rights," she said.
According to the Animal Justice Party thousand of animals are subjected to horrific experiments across Australia every year.
Originally published as Beagle in puppy laboratory horror