Bred to Suffer

Published 6 March 2024

Charges were dropped for activists, but an American beagle facility is still abusing dogs.

Beagle photo credit: @directactioneverywhere

Tens of thousands of beagles endure cruel experiments and lifetime confinement in animal research and breeding facilities. Three American DxE activists (Direct Action Everywhere) were facing up to 16 years in prison for rescuing beagles and documenting the deplorable conditions they were kept in. However the charges have now been dropped!

Sign the petition to save beagles!

Animal rights activists were facing felony burglary and theft charges, potentially serving up to 16 years in prison for rescuing three beagles, including a blind puppy named Julie, from Ridglan Farms, one of the America’s largest beagle breeding and research facilities. Beagles from Ridglan have suffered extensive abuse, including force-feeding industrial chemicals and injections with rabies. The activists argue that Julie is not a mere “thing” but a “legal person” deserving of rights.

Clearly the charges were dropped to halt the groundswell of public outrage drawn to Ridglan Farms and the plight of the beagles imprisoned there.

Supporters and organizations are rallying for the #BeagleBetrayal day of action on March 18, aiming to bring attention to the plight of dogs in labs. The dog experimentation industry faces increasing public opposition, leading to the closure of some major players through the efforts of organizations like PETA, HSUS, and the Beagle Freedom Project.

About the Beagles

Beagles, known for their loving nature, are targeted by the vivisection industry due to their docile disposition. In labs, they endure brutal experiments such as force-feeding industrial chemicals, physical mutilation, and lifelong confinement. Ridglan Farms has played a significant role in this industry, subjecting dogs to egregious abuse.

Despite documented improper housing conditions and criticisms from the USDA’s Inspector General, enforcement actions against such facilities are rare. In 2017, the USDA removed inspection reports from public databases, and enforcement of animal welfare laws further declined in 2018. Lack of proper oversight has allowed facilities like Ridglan to continue abusing animals.

Ridglan Farms: Row after row of tiny, barren cages, no bedding or comfort. credit: @directactioneverywhere

In 2017, animal rights activists from Direct Action Everywhere entered Ridglan Farms, documenting poor conditions and rescuing three beagles, including the blind puppy Julie. The activists faced charges four years later, highlighting the legal challenges activists may encounter.

Activist Wayne Hsiung with Julie, one of the rescued beagles. credit: @directactioneverywhere

Julie, a blind beagle rescued seven years ago, still suffers from PTSD but now lives in a loving home.

For information about Animal Experiments in Australia visit:

The Trial

The DxE activists were hoping to use the trial to determine whether animals can be considered “legal persons,” potentially setting a precedent for animals’ legal rights. Now that charges have been dismissed, they intend to keep the momentum going by calling for the shutdown of the Ridglan Farms facility.

#BeagleBetrayal Day of Action – March 18

Supporters are mobilizing a day of social media action, emails and phone calls on March 18. The focus is on demanding that Dane County District Attorney Ismael Ozanne serve the public’s interests, rather than cover up for an abusive industry.

With enough public support,  the authorities can be compelled to not only save all the Ridglan beagles but harness the narrative momentum to end the use of dogs in experiments entirely.

You Can Help Now!

Sign the DxE petition for the Right to Rescue:

Sign the Petition


Contact the District Attorney

Izmael Ozanne, Dane County Wisconsin District Attorney:

phone: (+1 outside USA) 608- 266-4211

Tell him to prosecute cruelty, not rescuers.

The cages at Ridglan Farms. credit: @directactioneverywhere
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