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I Photographed Ex-Lab Rats And Mice Going Outdoors For The First Time, And Their Expressions Say It All
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Animals4 years ago

I Photographed Ex-Lab Rats And Mice Going Outdoors For The First Time, And Their Expressions Say It All

Last summer I photographed mice and rats. Well, nothing special, are you thinking? Let me add a detail which made this session unique: for them, it was the first time ever outside a cage, open air.

My little models were test animals, just saved by La Collina dei Conigli, Italian charity based near Milan.

Every year in Italy, hundreds of thousands of animals die in laboratories. Some are used for lethal tests, but most could be saved: many are used for experiments from which they could easily recover and restart normal life, others are not actually used in test, but are kept in laboratories as a surplus of safety or control, and once the experiment has ended they become “a useless expense” for labs .

Italian law allows experimental laboratories not to kill healthy and ‘salvable’ animals, but to release them to individuals or charity, like La Collina dei Conigli. Retirements are agreed by the association directly with trial laboratories through delicate negotiations, which often entail shortages of many animals at a time.

La Collina dei Conigli has specialized in the recovery of rabbits and critters, dealing with them from the lab’s exit to (hopefully) a new life in a family.

I have been supporting this charity for years now with my pictures as a volunteer photographer (I am also a proud member of HeArts Speak network, a nonprofit organization that’s uniting art and advocacy to increase the visibility of shelter animals – “Creating a world where no shelter animal goes unseen” is their motto).

In the last years, I took inspiration from Alice in Wonderland, The Little Prince, Fairytales… this time, I decided to picture the best story ever, because, even if there’s so much wrong around, sometimes, reality can become better than fiction.

So no special effects, but something better: the surprise when these little critters feel the sun on their fur for the first time, their curiosity for a brand new world to discover, how deeply they enjoy their first moments of freedom, led and protected by volunteers, who are always by their side on the long path to recovery…

Shy ones, little warriors, curious explorers, cuddle-lovers: everyone acted in a different way when taken outdoors, and they showed once again that they are not mere numbers, as they are considered in labs, but individuals with peculiar attitudes and personalities.

That very hot day in August was their first time outside the cages, and I feel grateful to have witnessed such a great moment of rebirth!

More info: Facebook

Big foot

So… is this above the famous “sky”?

Grateful

Breathing and smelling!

Little Bros

Who are you?

Contemplating

Loving cuddles

Hold me

Curious guy

Exploring

Safe now

I’ll protect you…

Enjoying the moment

I love you!

Tell me the story of how you rescued me, again…

So many things to see

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Little Menace
Community Member
4 years ago

It makes me so incredibly sad that these lovely little personalities were abused by humans and it makes me so happy that they were saved. However not all Lab animals will be given out so freely, which means there are still so many of those little guys suffering. Thanks for at least make some of their lives better. Ratties make lovely and funny pets and they are so clever!

Kip
Community Member
4 years ago

Most lab rats and other animals we use to test medicine one have better lives than most pets. And to all the people who think we abuse these animals, are you vegan? We abuse the animals we consume. Lab animals have food, toys, a clean cage and companions. It is sad we have to kill them in order to get medicine for cancer and stuff, but I don't think any of you would reject a cure for cancer.

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Zori the degu
Community Member
4 years ago

I really can't understand people who love everything fluffy except for rats and mice. I mean, how could you hate these little guys? It's not their fault that their ancestors spread diseases.

Dani Donovan
Community Member
4 years ago

I know a lot of people get creeped out by their tails, too. It’s a shame because they make great pets. I’d definitely adopt a couple rats if I didn’t have a terrier that would be hunting them!

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JillVille Child Care
Community Member
4 years ago

I have had pet rats, they are brilliant and so very loving. Thank you for taking the time to allow these guys an experience they will cherish forever!

Community Member
4 years ago

Thank you so much!

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Little Menace
Community Member
4 years ago

It makes me so incredibly sad that these lovely little personalities were abused by humans and it makes me so happy that they were saved. However not all Lab animals will be given out so freely, which means there are still so many of those little guys suffering. Thanks for at least make some of their lives better. Ratties make lovely and funny pets and they are so clever!

Kip
Community Member
4 years ago

Most lab rats and other animals we use to test medicine one have better lives than most pets. And to all the people who think we abuse these animals, are you vegan? We abuse the animals we consume. Lab animals have food, toys, a clean cage and companions. It is sad we have to kill them in order to get medicine for cancer and stuff, but I don't think any of you would reject a cure for cancer.

Load More Replies...
Zori the degu
Community Member
4 years ago

I really can't understand people who love everything fluffy except for rats and mice. I mean, how could you hate these little guys? It's not their fault that their ancestors spread diseases.

Dani Donovan
Community Member
4 years ago

I know a lot of people get creeped out by their tails, too. It’s a shame because they make great pets. I’d definitely adopt a couple rats if I didn’t have a terrier that would be hunting them!

Load More Replies...
JillVille Child Care
Community Member
4 years ago

I have had pet rats, they are brilliant and so very loving. Thank you for taking the time to allow these guys an experience they will cherish forever!

Community Member
4 years ago

Thank you so much!

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