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A Dog Survives a Euthanasia Attempt and Gets Adopted

Workers at a city shelter in Alabama found him walking and eating the day after the procedure; he was named Lazarus and promptly adopted.

Michael Leaverton  |  Oct 6th 2014


The mixed-breed dog was dumped at the Ozark City Animal Shelter on Aug. 19 by his owner, who was moving and wanted to get rid of him. The dog was hurt, bloody — he had been hit by a car, according to the AP. The paw pad on one foot was gone.

After he was treated, shelter volunteer Cortney Blankenship spread the word via social media and tried to get him adopted, but it wasn’t to be. On Sept. 11, he was scheduled to be euthanized. It’s a story familiar to so many shelter workers.

Animal control officer Wanda Snell told the AP she witnessed the entire procedure. Late that afternoon, the vet stuck a needle in the dog and injected the killing chemical. Snell said the dog struggled against the drug, then went still. She left the dog in his pen in the interior kennel and went home for the night.

The next morning, the dog wasn’t in the pen. Some time after dying, he had gotten up, walked to the outdoor shelter, and drank some water and ate some food. And there Snell found him, acting as alive as could be.

“He was back up and breathing and going right about business like it’s nothing,” Ozark police Capt. Bobby Blankenship told the AP. “This, for the most part, is a fluke. We have the veterinarian, he comes down, he double-checks and triple-checks the animals before he leaves.”

Somehow, the dog survived the killing shot. Capt. Blankenship, who is shelter volunteer Cortney Blankenship’s father, said the dog was “wobbly” for a few days, but he made a full recovery.

How did he cheat death? Experts told the AP that the dosage could have been off or the vet might have missed the vein, but Cortney has a different take.

“His body overcame and he had a will to live and somehow, someway he made it through,” she said.

And suddenly, her job adopting out the dog got a whole lot easier. She dubbed him Lazarus (presumably after the biblical character resurrected after being dead four days) and put him back on social media, along with his unbelievable story of escaping death. It didn’t take long to start getting hits.

Ultimately, Cortney gave Lazarus to Two by Two Animal Rescue, who had a good foster family set up 160 miles away. Now, three weeks after he was sent to his death, Lazarus spends his days playing with another rescue dog, Tucker, under the care of Jane Holston of Helena, Alabama.

“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.”

Via the AP.

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