The mixed-breed dog had what you would call a rough start in life. On Aug. 19, he was dropped off at the Ozark City Animal Shelter by his owner, who was moving and could no longer care for the pup. To make matters worse, the dog was bloody and missing a pad on his left rear foot from being hit by a car.
After attempting in vain through social media to find the dog a home, the shelter scheduled his date for death as Sept. 10.
That's when, according to animal control officer Wanda Snell, a miracle occurred.
That evening, a veterinarian arrived to euthanize animals due to be put to sleep. Snell accompanied the veterinarian as he moved from kennel to kennel. When he arrived at the black-and-tan mixed breed's quarters, the vet injected the dog with the standard lethal euthanasia concoction.
The dog stirred a bit, and the vet checked for a heartbeat. Hearing a faint one, he administered a second round of euthanasia drugs. He then rechecked his heartbeat and, says Snell, signed off on the records that the 4-year-old shepherd mix was dead.
The following morning, the staff arrived to resume their daily duties.
There, staring out at them from the same kennel where Snell and the veterinarian had left his lifeless body, was the black-and-tan mixed breed. Back, apparently, from the dead. A bit wobbly, but he'd even managed to polish off his food from the day before.
Snell reached out to Two By Two Rescue, who happily took in the miracle dog.
"As I thanked God for saving him and for allowing us to be a part of his future, I pondered what I should name such a special dog? Without a minute passing, I knew there was no other name appropriate than Lazarus," Two By Two Rescue's Sonya King wrote on the rescue group's Facebook page of the dog's new Biblical moniker.
Soon after being taken in by Two By Two, Lazarus recovered from his near-death experience(s). He regained his balance, maintained a great appetite and returned to being a happy-go-lucky pup.
Today, Lazarus lives with Jane Holston of Helena, where he is receiving the care he needs — and a whole lotta love.
"He's not skittish, he's not afraid of anything, anybody, any sounds," Holston marveled. "I mean, it's just amazing what all he has been through."
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