House Resolution to End Gas Chamber Euthanasia Introduced

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 “I am hopeful that with the continued advocacy of compassionate citizens, we can put an end to this outdated practice.”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.

Related Stories:

Victory! Massachusetts Bans BSL, Overhauls Animal Protection Laws

End Gas Chamber Euthanasia in Michigan

National Day of No Kill Saves Thousands of Animals

Photo credit: Thinkstock


antonia maestre
antonia maestre5 years ago

"The time will come when men such as I will look upon the murder of animals as they now look upon the murder of men."
-- Leonardo Da Vinci

Summerannie Moon
Summerannie M5 years ago

This way needs to change as this is like the dim dark ages. We are more mature to find a solution and really its got nothing to do with too many animals but responsible ownership and make owning a puppy mill near impossible as well as stopping people literally collecting dozens of cats. Sure thats fine, I guess, but surely neutering is a #No l idea. huh?

dee w.
dee wooten5 years ago

I had no idea how cruel and violent this method was.
Animals gasp for breath, their insides burning. They claw at the floor and throw themselves against the walls of the chamber in an attempt to get out. Sometimes it takes the dog or cat as long as 30 minutes to die. It's terrifying and excruciating.

The Gas chamber was also Used in executing inmates. It was thought to be a more humane way
of putting killers and even the most sadistic and cruelest of cruel,serial killers to death.

However the last gas chamber execution took place in 1999, and only four states still allow it as an option,
Due to some unexpected complications.

Complications: Death can be extremely slow and painful, as demonstrated in several high-profile executions from the 1980s and 1990s. One of the more infamous was that of Jimmy Lee Gray in 1983, who frantically gasped, moaned, and slammed his head into a steel pipe for ten minutes as the cyanide slowly took effect. In 1996, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that execution by poison gas constitutes cruel and unusual punishment.

Humans that have committed horrific crimes
like that of Jimmy Lee Gray, Some of the very Worst of the worst. 10 min. of this type of suffering was found to be to cruel and unusual of a punishment.

Yet today we continue using this very same method on Innocent animals that must indure 30 min. of the very same suffering.
Their only crimes, nothing more then simply being homeless, or displaced.


Beth M.
Beth M5 years ago

Signed petition.

Mark Donners
Mark D5 years ago

In Italy they don't murder shelter dogs and they don't make excuses that they "have to". It's practiced in barbaric political cultures like the US and Canada. As far as I'm concerned anybody who's involved in "kill shelters" is an enemy of animals and therefore an enemy of civilized society.

Sheri D.
Sheri D5 years ago

The use of gas chambers for euthanasia is inhumane.

Mary Beth M.
MaryBeth M5 years ago

@ Claudia C: I am in no way defending gas chambers (hideous), nor suggesting that we wantonly kill all homeless animals, far from it. We have 5 pets now, and in the last 10 days, I've found a ferret and stray cat! The US has a long way to go towards compassionate and humane care. However, I have been to Italy and have seen your skeletal strays by the multitudes-in the streets, historic places and ruins. It broke my heart to see them slinking and searching for scraps of food. Before you criticize us, take a long and critical look at the state of abandoned animals in your own country. 'No kill' does not equal humane & compassionate treatment.

Barbara P.
Barbara p5 years ago

The very facilities taxpayers fund for the purpose of rescuing and placing animals into new and loving homes are the places that kill - killing animals simply because they don't have a human to give them a home is wrong - and it has to stop - regardless of the means used to kill. Should it be medically necessary to kill an animal, it should be done in the most humane way possible, not by gas chambers of course.

While even mandated spay/neuter programs violate the animal's right to reproduce, I can live with that and that has to be the way to control animal populations, not killing them!

Mary Beth M.
MaryBeth M5 years ago

For those of you who foolishly believe there cannot be too many animals, go to any website to do the math of just one unspayed cat or dog in a very short time-it is astonishing! Animal control facilities, especially rural ones, fill up to capacity rapidly with adoption rates nil. Where do you put all these animals even if you have unlimited funds/supplies, which they do not? Paid staff are minimal and they often rely on too few volunteers. My family & I spent several days this summer, on our vacation, volunteering at a rural shelter in WV mountains, run by one wonderful woman w/ volunteers, overflowing with dogs, cats & too many kittens. This saint of a woman ran herself ragged providing the best possible care that she could. Due to almost no local adoptions, she spent hours of computer time reaching out to rescues, who were very choosy as to which animals they would accept. She then had to provide transport, often 12-18 hrs away, sometimes for just a few cats or dogs; only to return to find that 15 more kittens had been left on her doorstep, along with 6 more dogs. It is an impossible job that she has devoted her life too. How many other shelters have less than desirable, or even downright irresponsible directors? Life in a cold, dirty cage devoid of human love is no life at all. 'No kill' does always mean a good life. Until we are all more responsible, spay/neuter, and can find homes for them all, compassionate and merciful euthanasia should be considered as the las

Claudia Cavallo
Claudia C5 years ago

By the way, we Italians may have a lot of problems and negative things going on, but we do not kill our pets in the shelters, they continue to stay there even for years, which is not the best solution but always better than die in horrible ways