Why Adopt a Beagle

Cute Beagle eating grass by a tree.

First of all, Beagles are sweet, intelligent dogs which is a great reason you should adopt a Beagle. They are super friendly and affectionate with kids and families.
Additionally, many people do not realize how many Beagles need to be rescued and adopted.

Unfortunately, thousands of Beagles worldwide end up in puppy mills and labs for scientific research. These easy-going, friendly dogs are often considered ideal for lab use due to their good-natured personalities. They spend their lives in cages and get subjected to numerous experiments, which can sometimes be very painful.

The good news is that a handful of states have enacted laws requiring labs to release a dog for adoption once the scientific research has ended instead of euthanizing them. And some labs have included release as part of their policy.

So rather than buy a puppy from a breeder, you should really consider adopting a Beagle from a rescue organization or shelter. You will literally be saving a life and providing a sweet Beagle with a chance for a happy life in a loving home.

Beagles are Great Pets!

The number one reason to adopt a Beagle is that they are loving, sweet dogs who will blend in well with your family. They are really good with kids. And, they are extremely smart dogs with great hunting instincts.

Beagles come in different sizes but most are medium to small and weigh around 25 pounds, which is an ideal size for a smaller household and for traveling. They have short hair which is easy to maintain and groom even though they do shed a bit. Mostly, they are joyous, happy dogs who love to play and cuddle on your lap.

They do howl, but that can be managed with some training. They are very energetic dogs, so having a yard would be helpful but taking them for walks each day works as well.

Why Beagles End Up in Shelters and Rescue Facilities


Beagles are wonderful family dogs who are usually good-natured and great with children. However, they have been bred to be hunting dogs with strong instinctive qualities. As a result, Beagles can be hard to train because they usually have their nose to the ground to sniff out prey. They also howl and bark which can be unnerving for some people. For this reason, Beagles are sometimes surrendered to shelters for re-homing by owners who were unfamiliar with their characteristics.

It is true that Beagles like to sniff a lot. When I raised Beagles, they constantly had their noses pressed to the ground when going for a walk. This eventually wore the hair down and created a bald spot between their nose and lips!

Additionally, they did like to howl at times, but I found that with some training I could control it. It is really unnecessary to send Beagles to a shelter because of these issues, but some owners have little patience. But if you love Beagles, please think about adopting a Beagle from a shelter who is in need of a caring family.

Lab Research

This is the saddest issue for me — how Beagles are used in laboratory experiments. It is so unnecessary. There are many other ways to test products. And, the experiments often do not translate that well to the human experience.

Yet, this practice continues and 96% of dogs used in labs are Beagles due to their good-natured personalities. They are not aggressive and are easy to manage. Unfortunately for these poor mutts, they may spend years in a cage and be subjected to numerous scientific and sometimes painful experiments. Many rescue groups will save these dogs when the labs are done with them, and adopt them out to loving homes.

Beagles playing for the first time!

Puppy Mills

Beagles are very popular breeds and in demand for adoption by families and hunters. And, unfortunately, they are often specifically bred to be sold to labs. Please see this NPR.org article about 4000 Puppy Mill Beagles who were bred at a Virginia puppy mill to be sold to labs. A federal judge ordered their release due to over 60 violations of Federal law regarding the inhumane and cruel treatment of these pups and adult dogs. Please be sure to see my post about Puppy Mill Rescue Dogs Behavior–How You Can Help for more information.

Where to Adopt

Shelters, Rescue Groups, Online

I have listed some reputable rescue groups that I have researched or become familiar with. But I also urge you to check with your local shelter, as they may have the type of dog you are looking for. And, you may save a dog’s life. Some shelters have a “kill” policy after long stays or when their facility reaches capacity.

You may also be surprised who you fall in love with or feel drawn toward the most when you visit a shelter. Be sure to see my post Everything You Need to Know About Adopting a Rescue Dog for a comprehensive guide.

My links to organizations below are just a sampling. There are many additional organizations that you may also want to work with. Just make sure they are a reputable organization that is registered as a 501(c)3 nonprofit. You can check their status on Guidestar.org which often includes 3 years of tax returns.

One additional note, you should steer away from private groups, especially those online, since they may be puppy mills in disguise. Also, buying a dog from a pet store is probably saving that dog’s life. But just know that pet stores usually get their dogs from puppy mills. So, in the long run, don’t support retailers who sell dogs by buying their products.

Two very reputable online services include Petfinders.com and AKC Rescue Network. They can help you find breed-specific dogs of various ages, including puppies and seniors.

Beagle Freedom Project

One of the largest rescue facilities with numerous credentials is Beagle Freedom Project. They have a platinum rating with Guidestar, a nonprofit accreditation organization. They are a global organization with partners around the world to help foster and place dogs in loving homes. You can usually find a Beagle to adopt or foster in your geographic location.

In addition to rescuing Beagles and finding forever homes for them, BFP does extensive advocacy to raise awareness and promote protective legislation. You can click their legislation tab to see how you can help and appeal to your local legislative representatives.

You may foster or adopt a dog through BFP after completing an application and a home visit/interview process. Dogs are available for adoption in several locations throughout the United States and the world. Here is their complete contact information:

Beagle Freedom Project Departments Contact Info:

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