Homeless pets in Gratiot County, Mich., saw a victory at the end of March when the Board of Commissioners voted to end the use of gas chambers for euthanasia at the Animal Control shelter.
While the the decision to end the use of gas chambers is a victory, the board voted to continue supplying animals to R&R Research, a Class B dealer that has a laundry list of USDA citations for violating the Animal Welfare Act.
The county’s contract with R&R Research expires in 2014 and will not be renewed. Until then, R&R will be receiving one animal a year to fulfill the contract, according to the Morning Sun.
Gratiot County is the last county in the state that still supplies animals to Class B dealers and animal advocates hope that the decision not to renew the contract will lead to an end of the supply of shelter animals for research who should, instead, get a second chance at finding a forever home. Nearby Mecosta County will end the practice of pound seizure at the end of June.
Meanwhile, animal advocates are still fighting to end euthanasia via gas chambers in throughout the state of Michigan with Grant’s bills, named for a dog who was killed in a gas chamber in 2008 despite efforts to rescue him, according to Michigander’s for Shelter Pets.
Grant’s bills (SB 423 and 424) would require all shelters and Class B dealers to euthanize animals with an injection of sodium pentobarbitol, which is considered a more humane alternative and is supported by the National Animal Control Association, the American Veterinary Medical Association, the Association of Shelter Veterinarians, American Humane Association, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and the Humane Society of the United States.
There are currently only four more counties in the state, Berrien, Branch, Cass and Van Buren, with shelters that still use gas chambers to kill homeless pets, although Berrien claims it no longer uses this method to kill animals. Regardless, it’s time for all shelters to stop using this cruel and outdated practice as a means of dealing with homeless pets and dismantle their gas chambers permanently.
Please sign the petition asking the Michigan legislature to support Grant’s bills and join the other states who have already banned this barbaric practice.
You can also sign the petition asking Congress to keep homeless pets from becoming test subjects by putting Class B dealers out of business for good.
Photo credit: xcode