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Lazarus the dog cheats death twice

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( — Dogs may be tenacious, determined and enthusiastic, but few can claim to be able to perform miracles. But Lazarus, a 4-year-old dog who was euthanized and popped back up the next morning, certainly seems to have a secret that most dogs don’t.

Still reeling from that? What if we told you that Lazarus cheated death twice?

Sonya King, executive director of Two by Two Animal Rescue in Helena, Alabama, where Lazarus is being fostered, told HLN that Lazarus’ story is nothing short of amazing.

“I got a Facebook message in September from a volunteer at animal control,” King said, “and even though we were completely full, I knew we had to take this dog.”

Animal control told King that the dog, who didn’t have a name at that time, was euthanized by a veterinarian and showed a faint heartbeat after the injection. The vet administered it a second time, couldn’t detect a heartbeat and signed off that the dog had died. The next morning, when staff members returned, Lazarus was walking around in a play yard. While timid and acting a little bit “drunk,” as King puts it, he was alive.

When the dog arrived at Two by Two, the staff soon discovered he had been abandoned by an owner who was moving, was hit by a car, and the pad of his left foot had been removed. In addition, he was heartworm-positive. King told HLN that with a history like his, she could imagine only one name for him.

“As soon as the car door opened when he arrived and I saw him, I called out ‘Lazarus!’ and he came, looking me in the eye with gratitude and peace,” King said.

While Lazarus is still looking for a forever home, King says that he has a little ways to go yet. She describes him as low-maintenance, well-mannered, and friendly with other dogs.

“His heartworm treatment will be completed in January, so we won’t adopt him out until then,” she said. “We only want to send animals home who are 100% healthy. We’re a small group of people with big hearts wanting to make a difference.”

Two by Two, whose mission is to rescue abandoned, distressed and hopeless animals regardless of their medical condition, will be nursing Lazarus back to full strength in the meantime.

By Colette Bennett