A Beagle named Scarlett has been crowned the most ‘Inspirational Animal’ at the Animal Hero awards.

The ex-laboratory Beagle, who was the canine cover star of K9 Magazine’s ‘Welfare Special’ earlier this year alongside celebrities Ricky Gervais and Peter Egan, is receiving this award because she is turning a terrifying past into a bright future for millions of laboratory animals, in her new role as Beagle Ambassador for the science-based campaign For Life On Earth (FLOE).

Photo Credit: Joseph Sinclair for K9 Magazine

Now running free, Scarlett’s two years imprisoned in a cruel and frightening toxicology laboratory (where dogs are typically force-fed chemicals for up to 90 days with no pain relief or anaesthetic) left her with terrible PTSD, including symptoms where she displays a terror of noises, fear of being covered and serious issues with eating.

Scarlett’s owner, Jane Bailes Green previously gave K9 Magazine some examples, “Scarlett gets excited when we get ready to take her on a walk, but the moment the harness and lead appears she goes into ‘compliance mode’, crouching down with her head and paws all flat on the floor. When picked up she goes all limp.

“These are indications of the training she would have endured to get her used to a laboratory environment, having learned – often through physical abuse – that ‘the less I move, the less I hurt.’ Even when mummy or daddy come home, she is initially excited and runs to greet us but quickly crouches down in compliance, waiting for permission to move and fearful of doing the wrong thing.”

On her new role as an ambassador, she said, “Living with Scarlett has confirmed our beliefs and her little ways and behaviours are a daily reminder of a life traumatised.

“Scarlett comes to life on her forest walks and a lot of people take an interest in her – she is small, cute and loves children and other animals – which gives us the opportunity to talk to people and educate them.”

Photo Credit: Joseph Sinclair for K9 Magazine

At the start of this year, K9 Magazine introduced comedian and well-known animal advocate Ricky Gervais and Peter Egan to Scarlett.

Alongside Paul O’Grady, Chris Packham, Dr. Jane Goodall and over 100 MPs, Ricky Gervais and Peter Egan are calling for a rigorous public scientific debate which would be judged by independent experts from the relevant fields of science about claims that animal experiments can predict the responses of human patients.

The Beagle’s latest achievement of being crowned this year’s ‘Inspirational Animal of the Year’ will undoubtedly help to raise awareness about the subject of animal testing.

We hope it leads to a revoke of the outdated law with medical research funding then able to be re-directed towards viable non-invasive human-based research, which has a track record of success without the need to harm animals.

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