Hope springs: Research dog saved after life in Albanian animal testing lab thanks to Manchester campaigner

By Matt Simpson

A dog called ‘Hope’ that has suffered a life of laboratory experiments and was due to be put down has been saved at the last minute thanks to the help of a Manchester animal rights campaigner.

Vicky Fraser, Unite to Care’s founder, was contacted earlier this year by an employee at the Albanian facility* who wanted to save the dog from being euthanized after ‘serving its purpose’.

Hope, a six-year-old cross breed, arrived in Dover on Saturday 22 and is now living in Kent with Mandy Flisher – to the delight of Vicky, 36, who brokered her release.

“Now Hope is finally in the UK, I feel utterly delighted and exhausted,” she said. “It was one of the best, but also the most emotionally draining, experiences of my life.

“I would do it again in an instant if any facility came to us and demonstrated they genuinely want to reduce the loss of suffering and life to animals in their care.

“They just need to allow the dogs to retire rather than being euthanised.”

SECOND CHANCE: Hope was rescued from an Albanian animal testing laboratory

Taken into the facility as a young stray, Hope has been used for training of anaesthetic procedures, including having breathing tubes inserted and local anaesthetic administered.

And as her throat is very sensitive – meaning she cannot be led using a collar – Vicky presumes these procedures have left some scarring.

“Sadly Hope is not unique, as thousands more dogs suffer equally horrific fates when they are used in laboratories in the UK and overseas,” she added.

“What Hope has gone through is just a small example of the horrors these dogs endure for cosmetic, product and educational curiosity.

“Devices are implanted into their organs and under their skin, while toxins are forced into their systems via oral gavage.”

After everything that has happened to Hope, Vicky explained it was essential to find her a loving home and believes she has found one with Mandy.

“When deciding on the home for Hope, we knew the biggest priority was a place she would be loved,” she said.

“We carried out full reference checks with vets and undertook a home check, but the overriding priority is a personality and lifestyle match.

“Mentally, Hope has a long way to go on the road to recovery, but we feel sure that Mandy’s caring nature will enable this to happen.”

And Vicky, who recently formed a partnership with America’s Beagle Freedom Project, hopes this will be one of Unite to Care’s many success stories and is more motivated than ever to make it so.

“We will continue to work towards a cruelty free-future,” she explained.” Many people still have no idea animal testing still exists.

“There are so many more accurate techniques that money could be much better spent on, without putting animals through such atrocities.

“Having seen the dogs in LA released by the Beagle Freedom Project and the happy lives they can now lead, despite a shocking history, I am more motivated than ever to continue my mission.

“And after seeing Hope arrive in Dover and knowing the suffering she has gone through to get there I now have that extra drive to push forwards.”

*Anonymous to protect identity.

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