A 20-pound beagle named Daniel surprised animal control officials in Alabama after escaping death in a gas chamber.

The unwanted young beagle mix was left anonymously in a drop box outside a Florence, Ala., animal shelter, The Associated Press reported.

His life was supposed to end in a gas chamber Oct. 3 with 17 other dogs, but instead he emerged unscathed, wagging his tail.

Daniel is being hailed as a miracle dog, and was named after the biblical figure who survived the lion's den.

He has now found refuge in Rockaway, N.J., after Linda Schiller, founder of Eleventh Hour Rescue arranged for the dog to be flown up north with the help of Pilots N Paws, a network of registered pilots who voluntarily relocate animals to rescue groups, The New Jersey Star Ledger reported.

Florence city spokesman Phil Stevenson told the AP no one is sure why Daniel survived, saying just three animals have survived the gas chamber in the past 12 years.