Oct. 28, 2011 -- Hundreds of people are vying to adopt Daniel, a 5-year-old miracle beagle who sniffed at death and came out of an Alabama gas chamber wagging its tail.
The pooch was sent to his doom along with 18 other dogs at an overcrowded animal shelter in Florence, Ala., on Oct. 3.
But when the animal control officer in charge of the operation returned to the locked chamber he found the dog waiting at the door, wagging its tail. The other dogs were dead.
His amazing survival has attracted several charitable groups to come to his aid to make sure he isn't sent back into the gas chamber. He found a temporary home in Tennessee with Karen Rudolph, who runs Schnauzer Savers Rescue of West Tennessee with her husband Michael.
Rudolph dubbed him Daniel, inspired by the biblical story of Daniel, who walked out of a lion's den unscathed. Eleventh Hour Rescue, which brought Daniel to New Jersey with the help of Pilots and Paws, gave the dog the last name "Milagro," meaning miracle in Spanish.
When Rudolph took Daniel Milagro to see her veterinarian, he received a clean bill of health.
"Amazingly, not only did he survive the gas chamber which is very rare … he was not sick," Rudolph said. "It was almost as though angels pulled him out of there and he didn't even breathe the gas."
At 20 pounds, Daniel is underweight and his immune system is slightly compromised, but otherwise he is in good health, Eleventh Hour Rescue president Linda Schiller said. Schiller's group is trying to find a home for Daniel.
The beagle is now staying with Eleventh Hour volunteer Jill Pavlik until the organization finds an appropriate home for him.
Schiller isn't worried about finding a new home for Daniel, who is highly adoptable due to his celebrity status. In fact, just an hour after the Star Ledger newspaper first covered the story, Schiller had received over 200 emails from readers interested in Daniel, and the attention hasn't slowed down since.
But she hopes at least some of the applicants will be interested in adopting other dogs.
"We have dogs that are just as wonderful as him that were on death row, but didn't walk out of a gas chamber," Schiller said. "They're happy and they're wagging their tales and ready to be adopted."
For more information on how to adopt Daniel or another rescued dog, visit Eleventh Hour Rescue