DC7 Beagles

The DC7 beagles were named after our Founding Fathers:

George Washington

georgeGeorge’s adventure outside a lab got off to a rough start. He was pretty much frozen in fear for the first week. He did not eat for a few days and had to be hand fed. He also had a bacterial infection in his gut. . .probably from the poor quality of lab food. He was especially scared of doors and coming inside from outside. He hid in the bushes when he went outside because he was too scared to come in through the door. When he wasn’t trying to hide outside, he was on the sofa during the day or on his mama’s bed at night. . .carried back and forth. Despite his shaky start, he did make an appearance on a local TV station with his fellow BFP buddy John Adams.

Today, he is happy, loving, and playful. He likes to go for walks, mostly so he can leave his ‘George was here’ mark on every telephone pole, street sign and fire hydrant. He L-O-V-E-S, loves, loves to hear his voice—especially at mealtime. He has this magical ability to tell time and notifies his mom every afternoon as mealtime approaches. He is a champion snuggler and USPS/UPS/FedEx harasser. He is still a little timid in new situations and with new doors, but little by little he continues opening up to this wonderful world outside the lab.

Watch DC7 beagle George and BFP foster+ adopter Gail Thomssen in an interview with Dr. Katy on The Pet Show from July 18, 2015 (begins around 7:35 in the clip): http://bcove.me/tfxbuin7

Alexander “Hammy” Hamilton

hammyHammy’s first couple months out of the lab were pretty scary. He was too frightened to go out into the world, where everything was unpredictable. Branches swayed! Reflections moved! Trucks roared! His activities for a while were limited to shaking with fear and pacing.

But now, Hammy is happy to report that he partakes in way more awesome activities! He is 5 ½ and loves howling for supper, romping in the snow and running on the beach. Despite his newfound confidence, he proudly admits that he’s a mama’s boy and loves nothing more than cuddling for hours on end. Except food.

Hammy lives in Washington’s Capitol Hill neighborhood, and he has already started sniffing out members of Congress to visit, so he can show them the tattoo in his ear from his prison, er, lab days, and persuade them to support legislation that requires all laboratory animals to be available for adoption. Hammy is polishing his hosting skills for the big day in July. But he wants everyone to know that he still hates fluttering, flapping flags.

Benjamin “Ben” Franklin

benLike his namesake, Ben came out of the lab full of curiosity, but his first 4 years in a cage made him hesitant to explore. He spent a lot of time watching other dogs play without joining in and in his first few weeks would refuse any unfamiliar food or treats.

Still one to think before doing, Ben’s quiet but silly personality really shines now that he’s convinced this freedom thing isn’t going away. He lives in New Hampshire with 4 other dogs, including fellow BFP alum, Maggie. The days of refusing treats are long gone, and he obviously believes belly rubs should be given on command (shouldn’t they?) He shamelessly jumps 4 feet in the air every morning to let his mom know she is taking way too long with his breakfast and loves playing in the snow for exactly 5 minutes at a time but really prefers his warm bed by the wood stove. While he can still be a little slow to warm to new people, you’re in the inner circle as soon as you offer a belly rub.

Ben can’t wait to join his brothers and sister in DC in July to celebrate 2 years of freedom and help spread the word about BFP’s mission to change hearts and minds about the way we use animals in experimentation.

James “Maddie” Madison

maddieMaddie lives in Buffalo with her family, which includes her best friend Frida and brother Winston, both beagle mixes, and two cats, Jack and Howard. Maddie loves playing with dryer balls, snuggling with Frida, sleeping with her dad on the couch, running around the back yard like a crazy woman, rolling on her back in the grass, swimming in the pool, and relaxing on the front porch in the summer time. In the morning she likes to snuggle in bed with her mom and her sister, Frida.

Maddie can be quite a silly character. She keeps her family entertained by snoring in her sleep and burping in their faces. She has brought so much love and laughter into their lives, and her mom feels sure they were meant to be together.

John Adams

johnJohn is one lucky boy as he’s had 3 families to love on him. He spent his first 6 days with George Washington and his family, and then moved to his foster home before finally finding his forever home. So he has lots of stories to tell everyone!

John Adams embraced freedom from the very beginning. He was a quick learner who ate from a bowl the very first night! He was also all about walking on a leash and loved going on walks with his foster family.

This is what John’s forever family has to say about this love bug.


(of a person or animal) able to withstand or recover quickly from difficult conditions.
synonyms: strong, tough, hardy.

Named for Founding Father John Adams, our boy John has been the embodiment of resilience from the time he left the lab. George’s Mom, Gail, shared that during John’s first car ride home to Charlotte, he sat calmly, tongue out, as if on an adventure. John came to us after spending several weeks with his amazing foster mom, Stephanie Townsend. He had a lot more to adapt to, including two young human family members and an elderly beagle. For a while John quietly observed the inner workings of this family. From the beginning though, the party always started when John knew it was time to eat. Round and round he turned, jumping and drooling with joy! Food has always been the most coveted thing around, and it’s painful to think that for four years in a lab, food was probably the only thing he could look forward to. So many things give John pleasure now, including long walks that allow for unlimited smelling potential. No longer is he stiff and unable to look us in the eyes when receiving affection. Any bed is a comfortable sleeping choice, as long as a family member is in it with him. And even though the lab clipped his vocal cords so he wouldn’t bother their “work,” John can still perfectly vocalize his joys with a modified bey. Resilient. That’s our John Adams.

John Jay (now Vito)

vitoVito is lucky enough to have not one, but two families that love him. His foster mom shared a few pictures with us and she provided a glimpse into Vito’s personality after he was first released.

Vito was full of worry wrinkles that were so prevalent when he first came into his foster home. Then you can see his little dance of joy when he realized the extent of his freedom. He was so happy smelling the flowers and dancing around on his hind legs. His foster mom remembers that day so clearly. It was the first day that she noticed his face relaxing, and he was making good eye contact with her. It’s like he was thanking her for his new life. Vito’s foster mom still loves that little guy so much and she was able to spend a weekend with Vito and his family last summer.

He was such a clown he was while he was at his foster home (as he was the day of his release!). After he got over the shock of a life so different than the one he knew, he tended to play little jokes. He would hide things and then watch his foster mom search for them. He was so proud of himself when he did that. Vito views himself as a comedian and those of us who know him couldn’t agree more!

Vito’s forever family also shared their stories about Vito and how well he is doing today.

When he first came to live with us Vito was so frightened that when we would try to pet him, he would stiffen up and stare at the wall. We had taken him from his foster home, the only home he knew and put him into a completely different situation and he wouldn’t even go outside, we would have to pick him up and put him outside. I remember thinking, ‘he has no enthusiasm for life’.

Well, that was then and this is now! Vito has fully embraced this freedom concept and has found that his “beagle eyes” can get him a belly rub at a moment’s notice. And oh, how he does love his belly rubs! He has a routine now, and that is when his “daddy” gets home, Vito stands on his back legs, front legs held high with his paws splayed out as if he is saying hello. He then runs to the nearest couch or chair, jumps up, rolls over and waits for the inevitable belly rub!

He is still a serious dog, but he can be just as mischievous and funny as any other beagle! When we are not paying enough attention to him (or he feels that we are not), he will grab a towel from the kitchen or bathroom if possible and run with it trailing behind him, his “people” following close behind. What a great game he has devised!

He will, at times, when he is tired or perhaps just bored with the scenery, sit down or hunker down on his haunches and pull like a freight train in the direction he prefers to go. Sometimes he wins. He loves to smell every manhole cover and storm grate he encounters, making up for five years of lost time and missed smells.

It is so hard for us to believe that he was kept caged for the first four years of his life, deprived of affection since he just loves to be loved. We will always be grateful; as is he I am sure, to his foster mother for choosing us to give him a loving home and to BFP for providing him the opportunity to live out his natural life as a freagle.

Thomas “Tommy” Jefferson

tommyWhen we first adopted Tommy he was scared of everything. He was scared of doorways and would not come in the house using the door. We would have to catch him and carry him. He was terrified of the TV. We were thankful we had the TV in a cabinet. We started slowly by closing the cabinet and just the sound then slowly day by day opening the cabinet a little more. He was afraid of most people and any sudden movement or sound. Now he does great but every now and then he reverts to his old behavior and we are reminded of the trauma he has experienced. We had a scare about 2 months ago when he became seriously ill very quickly. He was diagnosed with Addison’s disease. He is now on medicine and doing great. We live on a small farm in Kentucky. He loves to run in the fields, play with his brother and sister (beagles also), and chase squirrels and birds. He got his voice back and boy does he bark! He is super sweet and we love him so much. We cannot imagine our lives without him.