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Dog named 'Lazarus' survives euthanasia attempt

A mixed-breed dog named "Lazarus", which no one in Ozark, Alabama, wanted to adopt, has survived not only being hit by a car, but a euthanasia attempt as well.

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Okay here's the story...


DOG NAMED LAZARUS

Ozark - Animal control officer Wanda Snell knows what she saw: A veterinarian inserted a needle into the black-and-brown mutt and injected a chemical meant to put down the dog no one had adopted. The animal moved a bit and was still and quiet by the time she left the shelter for home.

What Snell can't explain is how or why a mixed-breed dog that nobody wanted recovered overnight and has since bounced back fully from what should have been a lethal injection.

Less than a month later, the dog lives with a family in a suburb of the Alabama city of Birmingham, where the animal romps and plays with another rescue dog. His survival seemed all the more surprising since the same dog already had been struck by a car before arriving at the Ozark City Animal Shelter.

A rescue worker who retrieved the roughly 4-year-old male dog after the failed procedure, named him "Lazarus" after the man the Bible says Jesus brought back to life. Snell has another name for that escape artist of a dog. "I call him Houdini," she said.

No one connected with the shelter is exactly sure what happened to prevent Lazarus' death and officials declined to release the name of the contract veterinarian who performed the injection.

Shelter volunteer Cortney Blankenship has an idea, however. "His body overcame and he had a will to live and somehow, someway he made it through," said Blankenship.

Records show the dog arrived at the shelter on 19 August after being dropped off by its owner, who Blankenship said was moving and could no longer care for it. The animal was cut and bloody after being struck by a car and a pad on its left rear foot was missing.

Blankenship tried to find a rescue home through social media, but no one stepped up to adopt. So the dog's scheduled date with death arrived on 10 September.

Snell said the vet arrived late that afternoon to put animals to sleep. Snell said she accompanied the veterinarian and witnessed the entire procedure. The dog moved a bit when injected, almost as if fighting the drug before it quieted and was still, Snell said. The animal was left for dead inside a pen, its body to be removed later.

But when Snell arrived for work the next morning, she saw the dog standing in an outdoor pen linked to the interior kennel. The dog had walked out and helped himself to some water.

"He was back up and breathing and going right about business like it's nothing," said Ozark police Captain Bobby Blankenship, who supervises the city shelter and is Cortney Blankenship's father.

Blankenship doesn't have any doubt the veterinarian tried to put down the dog.

In fact, the dog was "wobbly" and unsteady for some days afterwards, he said. Those problems have since passed.

Robert Lofton of the veterinary school at Auburn University said such cases are rare. While he hasn't examined the dog and wasn't involved in its handling, Lofton said the dog's survival could have resulted from an improper dose of the drug used or possibly a vein that dodged the needle tip.

And once Cortney Blankenship posted the story on Facebook, the dog's fortunes changed. The animal was claimed by another rescue group leader who turned it over to a family living about 257km away.

Jane Holston of Helena is now serving as Lazarus' foster mother. The dog has been diagnosed with a dangerous case of heart worms, but is on medication. And the leg damaged from the car accident is in a cast and on the mend.

Left for dead weeks ago, Lazarus now romps in the grass and plays tug-of-war with housemate Tucker, another rescue dog living with Holston and her family.

"He's not skittish, he's not afraid of anything, anybody, any sounds. I mean, it's just amazing what all he has been through," Holston said.
 

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What a touching story! This is why I plan on adopting a dog when I'm able to have one, so so so many deserving dogs waiting for a home.
 

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I agree Zabora most of my animals have been rescues. I had to post that story, it had such an awesome end.
 

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One of my four dogs are from the shelter and my cat is also from the shelter. I don't really go there to adopt anymore, because the staff in the past have been so rude and make it impossible for me to adopt. That really is such a sweet story. It's so sad to think about all the animals in the shelter :(
 

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It is very sad, there are so many unwanted animals and people who don't care enough to spay of neuter. My own sister being one of them...she has had so many cat litters I can't even count anymore. When I said why doesn't she get her females spayed she says she can't afford the bills! She also had a brother and sister German Shepard, neglected to separate them in time and so they had a litter. She sold the babies, gave me one...as I'd always wanted a German Shepard. The poor boy had an overbite, and such bad crepitation in his joints, third degree hip displasia and his shoulders kept dislocating to compensate for his back legs. At 4 or 5 months he was already on full time medication for pain. The vet advised that we have him PTS, he was only 6 months. Still breaks my heart:(
 
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