Miracle Dog Survives Gas Chamber, Comes to NJ for Adoption

Daniel the beagle walked out alive.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Daniel the Beagle defied science, nature and common sense when an Alabama shelter put him into a gas chamber to be euthanized only to survive. Now he's in New Jersey, looking for a new home. Pei-Sze Cheng has his amazing survival story. (Published Thursday, Oct 27, 2011)

    A miracle dog that did not die when put into a gas chamber has come to New Jersey for adoption after his incredible survival.

    Daniel the beagle was a stray in Florence, Ala., when he was placed into a shelter by animal control officials. After he was not claimed or adopted, he was put into a gas chamber to be put down with other unadopted dogs.

    But after the animal control officer went back to the chamber, there was Daniel, still alive.

    “They were all dead except for Daniel who was wagging his tail," said Linda Schiller of Eleventh Hour Rescue, the group that rescued Daniel and brought him to New Jersey. "He’s a miracle.”

    Gassing chambers work by pumping carbon monoxide into a sealed space, eventually suffocating the animals.

    Some argue it takes only minutes for the animals to lose consciousness and die, but the gas cycle is run for much longer, as much as 30 minutes, to be sure it has worked.

    According to Vincent Grasso, an animal control officer in Florence, Daniel had been inside the chamber with the other dogs for a scheduled 17-minute cycle.

    Grasso said it is highly unusual for a dog to emerge from the chamber alive, and it is shelter policy that if that happens, a dog would be given a second chance.

    Grasso said they brought Daniel to see the veterinarian and to make sure he was OK. Once Daniel was found to be in good health, they began to search for a permanent home.

    Schiller and her rescue group learned of Daniel’s miraculous story and brought him to New Jersey, where they are looking for a family to take care of him. She also hopes that this tough little beagle will become the face of a campaign against gassing.

    According to the Humane Society, many states still allow animal gassing in some form. A growing number, including New York and New Jersey, have banned it.

    Alabama has also banned gassing but the law will not take effect until next year. The Humane Society estimates that between six million and eight million animals are brought to shelters every year, and that as many as four million of them are euthanized.

    “It’s a common misconception that they only gas bad or mean dogs,” said Schiller. “They gas nursing moms and babies, they gas 8-week-old puppies. They gas a dog like Daniel, who has a lot of life and is a good dog.”

    Schiller hopes that the publicity around Daniel’s story will generate new interest for people to adopt shelter pets.

    “There are thousands of dogs dying as we speak,” said Schiller. “So if you can’t adopt Daniel then maybe you can adopt another pet from Eleventh Hour Rescue or from your local shelter.”

    Eleventh Hour Rescue can be reached at 973-664-0865 or at ehrdogs.org.