After he survived being hit by a car, and then was dumped at a animal shelter in Ozark, Ala., because his owner had to move away, a 4-year-old Shepherd mix woke up after being put to sleep.
Animal control officer Wanda Snell, who witnessed the dog being euthanized last month, told the Associated Press (AP) that after a veterinarian injected him with the lethal chemicals, the dog moved a little, as if he was resisting it, but then he was still.
According to Sonya King of Two by Two Animal Rescue, the vet heard a faint heartbeat, so he gave the dog another injection. “He rechecked his heartbeat and signed off on the records that the 4-year-old black Shepherd mix was dead,” King wrote on the rescue’s Facebook page.
But when Snell arrived for work at the shelter the next morning, the dog was standing up, drinking some water.
“He was back up and breathing, and going right about business like it’s nothing,” Ozark Police Capt. Bobby Blankenship, the shelter’s supervisor, told the AP.
The miracle dog remained wobbly for a few days. He was taken in by King, who named him Lazarus after the man who, according to the Bible, was raised from the dead by Jesus.
One month later, Lazarus is recovering from the euthanasia attempt as well as the leg injury he suffered earlier when he was struck by a car. He is being fostered by Jane Holston of Helena, Ala., and will hopefully enjoy a long (third?) life in a new forever home.
“He’s not skittish, he’s not afraid of anything, anybody, any sounds,” Holston told the AP. “I mean, it’s just amazing what all he has been through.”
Although it’s rare for a dog to survive a euthanasia attempt, it does occasionally happen. Dr. Robert Lofton, of the veterinary clinic at Auburn University, told the AP that Lazarus may have been given an improper dose of the drug, or perhaps the needle missed his vein.
One of the most famous cases of a miracle survivor dog also occurred in Alabama. In October 2011, a stray Beagle named Daniel walked out of a shelter’s gas chamber in Florence after being exposed to carbon monoxide for 17 minutes. He was adopted by an East Coast family and inspired “Daniel’s Law,” which prohibits the state of Pennsylvania from using gas chambers in animal shelters.
Because of pet overpopulation, about 2.7 healthy dogs and cats are euthanized every year in U.S. shelters, according to the Humane Society of the United States.
“Thousands of great animals are killed each week in your local community,” King wrote on Two by Two Animal Rescue’s Facebook page. “As you fume with anger, let me remind us all that if our communities regulated spay and neutering, then our shelters would not be overloaded. The shelters have a horrible job of killing the animals that should have never been born.”
For more information about Two by Two Animal Rescue, visit its website.
Photo via Facebook