|Daniel, tail wagging, despite gassing. (AP)|
(AP) — Unnamed and unwanted, the young beagle mix was left anonymously in a drop box outside an Alabama pound. His life was supposed to end in a gas chamber.
Instead, the young stray emerged frightened but unscathed, wagging his tail. Now, he's being hailed as a miracle dog, given the name Daniel after the biblical figure who survived the lion's den.
And he has a fresh start in New Jersey, where a rescue group hopes to find him a good home from among over 100 people anxious to have him.
Only three animals have survived the gas chamber at the Animal Control facility in Florence, Ala., in the past 12 years. "Maybe God just had a better plan for this one," said city spokesman Phil Stevenson.
(COMMENT: Rather than involve God, could have it have been because of an inept, newly hired employee who cruelly overloaded the gas chamber?)
No one is sure why Daniel was the lone survivor. "It may be that his breathing was shallow because of a cold or something," Stevenson said.
He said the gas chamber is a stainless-steel box roughly the size of a pickup truck bed, and dogs are put into the chamber about seven or eight at a time. A computer-controlled pump slowly feeds carbon monoxide into the chamber once it's sealed, and an operator presses a button.
On that Oct. 3 day, a new animal control officer placed the stray beagle into the chamber with several other animals and started the machine, Stevenson said. (COMMENT: Could we have that guy’s name?)
Vinny Grosso, the Florence animal shelter's director, said the shelter is limited by law on how many dogs it can hold and had just taken in 60 in one day. Because of the huge number, it had to pick some to put down, and strays like Daniel, dropped off with no evidence of an owner, are the first to go.
Mindy Gilbert, Alabama director for the Humane Society of the United States, said Daniel's story explains why the group pushed the Alabama Legislature to ban gas chambers for euthanizing dogs, effective Dec. 31.
(COMMENT: No one in Alabama is to blame, obviously, for putting Daniel through that torture. Maybe Alabama should rethink its procedures??)
“Revenge is often like biting a dog because the dog bit you.” Austin O'Malley