Every year more than six million homeless pets are killed in shelters. While some have banned the horrific practice, gas chambers are still used as a method of euthanasia in 32 states.
Rep. Jim Moran recently introduced House Resolution 736, which opposes the use of gas chambers, calls for states to adopt the more humane method of euthanasia via lethal injection and seeks to ensure that shelter workers have ready access to training and certification for humane euthanasia techniques.
“I am pleased to introduce this resolution with the support of several of my constituents to bring more attention to this unnecessarily gruesome practice of using gas chambers to kill shelter animals,” said Rep. Moran. “I am hopeful that with the continued advocacy of compassionate citizens, we can put an end to this outdated practice.”
The overwhelming opinion remains that the use of gas chambers is a cruel and inhumane practice to end lives, yet only 18 states have taken steps to ban them.
“Death by gas is long, terrifying and painful, and it is unconscionable that this tactic is still being used in this country,” said Debbie Marson, local animal protection advocate and volunteer for A Forever Home. “Lethal injection is more humane, more cost effective, and only takes seconds. Euthanasia, after all, means ‘good death.’ Death by gas chamber does not meet this definition.”
A number of professional organizations have also come out against the practice. The Association of Shelter Veterinarians “believes that the use of carbon monoxide for individual or mass companion animal euthanasia in shelters is unacceptable due to significant humane, operational and safety concerns.”
The National Animal Control Association (NACA) agrees and “considers lethal injection of sodium pentobarbital, administered by competent, trained personnel, to be the only method of choice utilized for humane euthanasia of animal shelter dogs and cats.”
Gas, typically carbon monoxide, affects each animal differently and can subject them to prolonged fear, stress and suffering, along with causing aggressive behavior when multiple animals are gassed together, in addition to threatening the safety and well being of shelter workers. Some animals have survived gassing and gotten a second chance, while others have had to endure the procedure again.
While it’s reprehensible that healthy, adoptable animals are paying for human irresponsibility with their lives, this resolution establishes congressional opposition to the use of gas chambers and is a yet another step towards raising awareness of the plight of homeless companion animals.
Please sign the petition asking your representative to support and co-sponsor this resolution to help end the use if gas chambers.
Photo credit: Thinkstock