NUTLEY, NJ – A “wonder dog” who survived a grim encounter with a gas chamber – and who inspired a movement for reform in its wake – recently died in Nutley, its owner says.
Daniel “The Beagle” Dwyer lost his battle with cancer last week, according to Joe Dwyer, who adopted the unruly Doggo nearly a decade ago.
The brave puppy became famous in 2011 when he and 17 other stray dogs were herded into an Alabama gas chamber for euthanasia. But fate had other plans for Daniel, whose remarkable story caught the attention of the New Jersey-based animal rights group Eleventh Hour Rescue.
“They say gas is heavier than air and maybe it has an air bubble,” said Linda Schiller, founder of Eleventh Hour Rescue, to Anderson Cooper. “But it’s one in a million for an animal to survive the gas chamber. Some people really think it’s a miracle.”
The nonprofit that specializes in rescuing dogs from high-kill shelters across the country quickly picked Daniel up with a plan to find a family for him forever. In Dwyer, the organization soon found one in Nutley – and the rest is history.
Your efforts paid off. Prior to Daniel’s miracle in 2011, a total of 21 states were regularly using gas chambers to euthanize dogs. However, according to the Humane Society of the United States, only four states – Ohio, Wyoming, Missouri, and Utah – were still actively using gas chambers in animal shelters in 2020.
It’s an ugly death, the company stated in a blog post:
“If you’ve ever had to euthanize a loved one, you know how heartbreaking it can be to lose a family member. A caring person’s gentle hug and gentle, painless sleep brought about by a trained technician is one of the friendliest gifts We can do to a suffering animal. If an animal is injected with the right euthanasia drugs, it will lose consciousness in as little as three to five seconds. Compare that to how the gas chamber works. If you are sensitive to animal suffering, the operation can only bother you. The animals are put in a small, dark box that is sometimes full of the smells of the animals that came before them – many of them may have urinated or defecated before they died. “
The humane society continues:
“When animals are put in the chamber together, they can start fighting out of fear and despair. For a few minutes in the box they can be frightened, clawing and calling for a way out. They can gasp for breath or start to convulsions beforehand. ” eventually lose consciousness. In the best case scenario, it takes minutes for an animal to lose consciousness in a gas chamber. But if the chamber is old or not well calibrated – a common problem with inadequately equipped shelters – or if the animal is very young, very old, sick, injured or stressed, it can take much longer. In the worst case, the animal is still conscious while its vital organs begin to fail. “
Daniel’s efforts earned him a Hero Dog Award from American Humane, a cart ride for the Lucy Pet Foundation during the 2014 Tournament of Roses Parade, and a feature spot on an episode of the Anderson Cooper Show.
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The prestigious pooch’s health finally began to deteriorate in June, its owner reported:
“On June 18, Daniel was diagnosed with hemangiosarcoma, a highly aggressive cancer that affects a dog’s vasculature. Unfortunately, the origin of this cancer cannot be precisely determined, although many studies suggest that exposure to chemicals at a young age causes it could cause these later problems. For this and so many reasons, ALL gas chambers must be eliminated from our world. “
“Every year in this country more than 670,000 dogs die in animal shelters,” demanded Dwyer. “Although Daniel’s survival helped so many lives, his death cannot be in vain.”
“Daniel’s story lives on in every dog that sits in a shelter today, waiting for their human to come and get them,” he added. “Would you like to help remember Daniel? Go to your local animal shelter and bring your own Daniel home.”
Eleventh Hour Rescue paid tribute to the Beagle Ambassador after learning of his death.
“After Daniel got his second chance, Daniel was a little beagle on a grand mission to save the lives of other homeless animals,” the group wrote. “His life was really spared for a greater cause, and our salvation was honored to play a part in his story. We regret the loss of this amazing puppy to his family. Fly high, Daniel. See you at Rainbow Bridge. “
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