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11 dogs die after van breaks down en route to Minnesota

HATTIESBURG, Miss.—Eleven dogs en route from a Mississippi animal shelter to Minnesota died when the van they were being transported in broke down Friday, July 6, in northern Mississippi.

The van was headed to the Animal Humane Society in Golden Valley, Minn.

The volunteers who were driving unloaded the dogs as fast as they could to transport them to a cooler spot, but it was too late for 11 of the 50 dogs expected in Minnesota.

According to the Southern Pines Animal Shelter Facebook post, they don't believe the deaths were caused by heat in the van.

"At this time, we do not know what caused these dogs to pass, but we are actively trying to determine the cause if possible. Upon leaving the shelter all the dogs were alert and healthy, the van's AC systems and ventilation seemed to be in working order, and throughout the trip the van remained cool. We are working to investigate what other system failures or mechanical malfunctions could have impacted the animals on board, and we are hoping to find some definitive answers as to what happened."

Southern Pines shelter manager Amanda Paris says two of the dogs have been sent in for necropsies, but is unsure when the results will return.

For those with questions or concerns, the shelter is accepting emails at