The dog that wouldn’t die

Lazarus, a mixed-breed dog who survived aeuthanasia attempt and a car accident, sits by hisnew owner, Jane Holston, in Alabama.  

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 euthanise 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 Ms. Snell can’t explain is how a mixed-breed dog that nobody wanted recovered overnight and has since bounced back from what should have been a lethal injection.

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. Records show the dog arrived at the shelter on Aug. 19 after being dropped off by its owner, who 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. Shelter volunteer Cortney 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 Sept. 10.

Ms. Snell said she witnessed the entire euthanisation procedure. The dog moved a bit when injected, almost as if fighting the drug before it quieted and was still.

But when Ms. 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.

Dr. 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.

The animal has now been claimed by another rescue group leader who turned it over to a family that has adopted him.

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Printable version | Apr 13, 2021 8:05:36 PM |

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