Southern California breaking news and trends

The beagles have landed: 20 laboratory dogs see the sun for the first time


Photo by Marc Wellekötter via Flickr Creative Commons

A San Diego County research lab released 20 beagles to rescue groups on Thursday in an effort to get the dogs adopted. Ten are staying in San Diego County, 10 will be put up for adoption in Los Angeles.

Ranging in age from 4 to 7 years old, the dog have spent their entire lives inside a lab, and met with grass and sun for the first time at an adoption event at Four Paws Coonhound Rescue & Friends in El Cajon, reports U-T San Diego.

The lab, which has a regular arrangement to release its animals, worked with Four Paws and the Los Angeles-based Beagle Freedom Project to free the dogs. 

Rebecca Stevens, founder of Four Paws, said the animals were well-treated at the lab. She declined to make public the name of the facility out of concern it might compromise the release arrangement with the rescue group.


Jet Propulsion Laboratory anticipating major cuts in NASA budget

NASA Shows Off New Mars Rovers

David McNew/Getty Images

Workers put final touches to the two new Mars exploration rovers at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory in 2003.

The Jet Propulsion Laboratory in La Canada is preparing for bad news during an announcement about NASA's budget. The lab is anticipating major cuts, the Pasadena Star-News reports

The space agency's 2013 budget and planetary exploration operations are expected to take a hit.

U.S. Rep. Adam Schiff of Pasadena says he had a tense meeting with NASA Administrator Charles Bolden on Thursday. Though he's vowing to fight the cuts, Schiff says planetary science and the Mars program are expected to face "absolutely devastating" cuts. And Schiff says if joint missions with the European Space Agency are scrapped, JPL will likely be deeply affected.

JPL spokeswoman Veronica McGregor says the company has already laid off about 240 employees between 2010 and 2011 because of previous budget cuts.