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2011-11-24

From gas chamber to forever home -Daniel the miracle beagle

By John Woestendiek www.ohmidog.com

Daniel, the miracle beagle, has a new home.

The dog who survived an Alabama gas chamber has been adopted by Joe Dwyer, a 50-year-old motivational speaker and dog trainer, his wife, Geralynn, and their daughter, Jenna.
While the family intends to continue the dual missions Daniel has already become part of - encouraging adoptions and ending the use of gas chambers to euthanize dogs - they promised that "his life as part of this family is paramount."

"We can't deny he has a purpose," Dwyer of Nutley, NJ, told the Newark Star-Ledger. But, he added, "He won't be exploited."

The Dwyer family has four other dogs, including another famous one - Shelby, an abused pit bull Dwyer adopted and trained as a therapy dog.

Dwyer wrote a book about the dog and uses her in presentations at schools about bullying.

Dwyer said Daniel may become a therapy dog some day, but for now the family will allow him to continue to be used, as he has been since his rescue, as the poster child for the campaign to end gas chambers, which are still legal in 31 states.

Estimates are Daniel is around five, but the Star-Ledger reports he was behaving like a puppy as he dashed around the yard with the family's other dogs.

Daniel was one of a group of dogs being euthanized in the gas chamber at the local pound in Florence, Alabama. When the process was completed, though, Daniel walked out of the chamber.

Word of his survival spread across the country, prompting the Rockaway, NJ-based rescue group Eleventh Hour Rescue to take him in. He was flown to New Jersey by Pilots N Paws.

Daniel recently made his first official appearance - in Pennsylvania at a rally for a bill to ban gas chambers. That bill is named after Daniel.