Victory: Last Euthanasia Gas Chamber In Mississippi To Be Dismantled

Animal advocates in Mississippi won a major victory as the one remaining animal shelter in the state agreed to tear down their gas chamber used for euthanizing homeless pets. The decision was also a win for the Humane Society of the United States because it proved they can create change in states even when legislators vote down new laws.

Earlier this year, HSUS lobbied a bill to Mississippi lawmakers to ban gas chamber euthanasia in lieu of euthanasia by injection, which is more humane for the animal. Cats and dogs killed by carbon monoxide gas chambers suffer a traumatic end to their lives. They are frightened when they are sealed inside the chamber and often struggle, cry and even fight with other animals during the process.

Twenty states have already outlawed gas chambers in favor of the more humane approach of euthanasia by injection.

When the bill failed to make it out of a legislative committee, Lydia Sattler, Mississippi HSUS State Director began talking and working with each public animal shelter in the state that was still using the outdated system.

“She made it her mission to get the job done outside the state capitol,” said Wayne Pacelle, CEO and President of HSUS.

One by one, Sattler was able to convince each community to make the change. She found veterinarians who would work with the shelters to administer the injections and she organized volunteer programs to get more pets adopted.

On Tuesday, the town council in Lucedale, heard Sattler’s presentation and voted unanimously to dismantle the one remaining gas chamber in the state.

“We are closer to the day when no healthy pets are euthanized in animal shelters because of a lack of homes,” said Pacelle.

Today 80 percent of owned pets are spayed or neutered and more people are adopting animals rather than buying them. The state of New Hampshire achieved a zero euthanasia rate for healthy homeless cats and dogs in 1999 and offers a free guide to shelters and rescue groups.

During the past five years gas chambers have been banned in Alabama, Louisiana, Massachusetts, New York and Pennsylvania.

Sattler plans to continue to improve shelter standards in that state.


Related Stories:

New Hampshire Is A Zero Kill State: Will Your State Be Next?

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How To Protect And Save Your Pet In Case Of An Emergency


Photo Credit: daveparker


Carrie-Anne Brown

thanks for sharing :)

Debbie Crowe
Debbie C5 years ago

I HATE gas chambers and even worse, euthanizing of healthy, homeless pets. Hopefully, we will see the end to both!

Mark Donners
Mark Donner5 years ago

Ironic they think they can call those torture camps "shelters" when they're simply refuges for the worst human sadists and criminals.

Katherine Wright
Katherine Wright5 years ago

Good news but we still have the "elephant in the room" that we are still killing an average of 9,000 adoptable pets EACH AND EVERY DAY. This must stop the needless killing.

Waheeda S.
Waheeda S5 years ago

Great news! Thank you for your efforts to ban these horrible death chambers!

Anne P.
Anne P5 years ago

This is great news. Terrific work, Mississippi animal advocates! I salute you!

Mari Garcia
Mari Garcia5 years ago

great news!

Mary Beth M.
MaryBeth M5 years ago

An odd sort of victory. Happy that one more state will not routinely kill sentient companion animals in an inhumane, agonizing manner; although that still leaves heartstick and the more humane death by lethal injection, assuming it is done properly by trained personnel. Any under-trained, understaffed shelter or pound can resort to inhumane methods when proper supervision is not in the equation. Probably the bigger question now is what happens to all these caged animals who have not been euthanized? While horrified at the horrific killing, keeping an intelligent, loyal and sentient creature in a cage indefinitely is far from humane either. It is heart breaking. Just becoming a 'No Kill Nation' does not solve the biggest problem of all. Just what do we realistically do with the millions of unwanted pets?

Beth M.
Beth M5 years ago

Happy dance! Now on to a no-kill civilized nation.

Melania Padilla
Melania Padilla5 years ago