SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — Furry, four-legged lobbyists visited the Illinois State Capitol to support legislation that would require research dogs and cats a chance at adoption.

Beagles rescued by the Beagle Freedom Project appeared Tuesday with their rescuers in favor of legislation introduced by Republican Rep. Margo McDermed of Mokena (moh-KEE’-nuh) and Democratic Sen. Linda Holmes of Aurora.

The measure would require labs — particularly at universities and other tax-supported facilities — to work with organizations to give animals have a chance at adoption rather than being euthanized.

Beagles are often used in research because they’re docile and small.

The plan has no enforcement mechanism. Supporters say it would rely on labs to identify healthy animals eligible for new homes.

The bills are HB4297 and SB2356.

Online: http://www.ilga.gov

Beagle Freedom Project: http://www.bfp.org/