'A tragic loss': 12 dogs die after air conditioner fails enroute to adoption event from Atlanta

A dozen dogs heading to an out-of-state adoption event from Atlanta over the weekend died after the air conditioning unit in the trailer they were being transported in failed, according to LifeLine Animal Project.

The animal welfare organization says team members were headed out of town in an effort to help more pets find homes. They say they borrowed a trailer to transport the dogs and frequently made stops in order to check on them. 

"We are devastated to share that within an hour from the last check-in, the team discovered that the air conditioning unit failed. The temperature gauge for the trailer that was displayed in the cab remained around 72 to 65 degrees and did not indicate any issues," the organization stated in a Facebook post.

LifeLine says team remembers were able to save 22 dogs using the emergency supplies they were carrying with them. Sadly, 11 of the animals died on site. Two dogs were taken to a local emergency veterinarian. One of those dogs passed away. The organization says the other was in stable condition.

Members of Southern Pines Animal Shelter in Hattiesburg, Mississippi assisted in helping to the care for the remaining animals until the dogs were able to be brought back to Atlanta.

"This tragic loss has shaken all of us to our core," the post continued. "Though this was an unforeseen and devastating mechanical failure, the loss is unfathomable."

LifeLine says it will be holding a vigil this week for staff and volunteerism grieving the loss.