11 dogs headed to Minnesota die after van breaks down

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SARDIS, Miss. (AP) _ Eleven of 50 dogs being transported by an animal rescue group from Hattiesburg, Mississippi, to Minnesota died when the van carrying them broke down on Interstate 55 in north Mississippi.

The van had left the Southern Pines Animal Shelter about 1:30 p.m. Friday before being forced to stop near Sardis, about four hours into the trip.

The Clarion Ledger reports two volunteer drivers discovered the dead dogs as they worked to unload them.

A statement from the shelter on its Facebook page Saturday said the vehicle was undergoing a thorough inspection.

Group Director Ginny Simms tells WREG-TV that they believe carbon monoxide poisoning from a mechanical malfunction _ not the heat _ may have been to blame for the accident.

Sims says the remaining animals remain under observation.

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