PORT JEFFERSON STATION, NY (WPIX)—With their big eyes and floppy ears,"lab rats" is probably the last thing you would call these pooches, but that's pretty much what they were.
According to animal rescue officials, over 100 beagles were rescued from an abandoned cosmetics laboratory in Warren County, New Jersey earlier this week and they're now looking for new homes.
The beagles were being used for pharmaceutical and chemical tests at the lab, officials said.
In a strange twist of fate the dogs were saved in part by the bad economy after the company that owned the lab filed for bankruptcy.
"They closed the laboratory down and left the dogs inside," said Lynne Schoepfer, Executive Director of Save-A-Pet in Port Jefferson Station.
The animal rescue organization, along with several other rescue groups, stepped in and saved 120 beagles in all.
"It was basically a make up company so they were doing inhalation tests on them, not all of them were tested, not sure which ones were and which ones weren't."
As criminal as it sounds its not illegal to perform lab tests on dogs, as long as its done humanely. The reason why beagles are typically chosen is because they are such a docile breed.
"It's horrendous to think in this day an age there isn't another way to do than to subject animals to testing," Schoepfer said.
The rescue groups determined that the dogs spent their entire lives in steel cages.
Officials say there is no way of telling if the animals have internal damage from the chemical exposure, but they appear to be in good shape, sniffing away and active which indicates good lung capacity.
The beagles, which were spayed and neutered, were up for adoption Friday.
"I think they'll make great pets all of them come up to you looking for affection," said Schoepfer.
To learn how to adopt one of the rescued beagles, visit the Save-A-Pet website.