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A county animal shelter is shut down, its employees and practices are under investigation, and one very lucky little dog is recovering after a shelter volunteer found the dog, still alive but barely clinging to life, tossed inside a freezer.
When a volunteer at the Lauderdale County Animal Shelter in Ripley, Tennessee opened the shelter’s freezer, used to store the bodies of euthanized dogs until they can be properly disposed of, she was shocked to find a young puppy, still alive, curled up in the corner of the airtight, top-loading freezer. Though he was barely alive, the volunteer, who chose to remain anonymous out of fear, saw his pulse in a vein on the dog’s leg.
She immediately rushed Asher, a Weimeraner mix puppy, to an emergency veterinarian. A day later, after emergency care and IV fluids, Asher is doing much better. In fact, the young dog is expected to make a full recovery.
Expecting that Asher had somehow survived euthanasia, veterinarians did blood work to test whether sedatives or the drug used to put the dogs to sleep was still in his system. He showed absolutely no traces of either, indicating that he had been intentionally tossed in the freezer and left for dead, that it was not an accident or a failed humane euthanasia attempt.
While an investigation into what happened is underway, LocalMemphis reports that one shelter worker has been suspended and that a meeting is being held today to try to determine what happened.
For now, the shelter remains closed and Asher continues to improve.