Congressman seeks to end use of gas chambers on shelter animals

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A resolution expressing opposition to the use of gas chambers to kill animals unfortunate enough to meet their end at a U.S. shelter still practicing that barbaric form of euthanasia has been introduced into Congress.

House Resolution 736, introduced by co-chair of the Congressional Animal Protection Caucus Jim Moran of Virginia, expresses opposition to the use of the gas chambers and calls for states to enact their own bans and remove barriers that make it illegal for shelters to obtain injectable euthanasia drugs directly.

While not a direct federal ban, the resolution sheds light on the uncomfortable facts surrounding the use of gas chambers to poison shelter animals.

Animals of all sizes, ages and health status are forced into a metal box and locked inside as the toxic gas fills the chamber. These gases kill by shutting down vital organs even before unconsciousness sets in, resulting in pain and stress. Often, animals become aggressive and attack each other in terror.

If done right, all the animals should die within minutes. But it is often reported to take up to 30 minutes to kill all the animals in the death chamber.

In contrast, a lethal injection of sodium pentobarbital first induces unconsciousness before shutting down the organs.

Stories of animals surviving the gas chamber have made the little survivors poster puppies for raising awareness about the unnecessary use of such a cruel form of death.

Quentin, a Besenji mix, is one such poster puppy who tours the country educating communities and public officials about the alternative to gassing.

When a St. Louis shelter worker opened the chamber after 30 minutes of gassing the dogs inside, Quentin stood among the victims alive and well. As the workers didn’t have the heart to re-gas him, he was adopted by the founder of Stray Rescue of St. Louis, Randy Grim.

Only 19 states currently have outright bans on the use of gas chambers to kill unwanted pets, and another 15 states have the legal authority to acquire and use euthanasia drugs so that whether to use the gas chamber or lethal injection is up to the individual shelter to decide, according to the Humane Society of the United States.

The remaining 16 states actually have laws giving shelters no authority to acquire the drugs needed for humane euthanasia so shelters not wanting to gas their animals must rely on the cooperation of a local vet to provide them.

The resolution reports that nearly half of the six to eight million animals entering U.S. shelters are killed – a tragedy of epic proportions in and of itself. There is no reason to add torture to the waste of so many millions of lives whose only crime was to be born into a society that classifies some forms of life as property.

Click here to email your support for this resolution.

To help relieve the suffering of millions of animals seeking only love and a home, adopt from shelters, spay and neuter your own pets, and any animal you can get your hands on!

  • Tina Page

    Tina is a journalist and mother of three who's lived all her life in the South Bay of Los Angeles except for a two-year stint in the heart of Spain. She believes humans have the capacity to make this a beautiful world for all species to live, and mothers have a special charge to raise their children to enjoy, love and respect all creatures.

7 thoughts on “Congressman seeks to end use of gas chambers on shelter animals”

  1. What a hideous machine! Reminds me of world was 2 when the Jewish people were gassed! why is it ok to gas the most innocent,loyal,loving animals that have been abanodoned by STUPID humans?!? Why do they need to suffer because humans are stupid and keep letting their animals breed and could care less what happens to them?! I did pit bull rescue for five years, I kept four beautiful dogs that were once someones pet and then thrown away like garbage! They were the most wonderful thing that came into my life…why would there even be a question ABOUT the use of this pice of s&^# machine???? put the stupid humans that abuse,neglect,starve PURE AND SWEET ANIMALS in the machine instead of the victoms!!!!! These animals are victoms not criminals, BAN THAT STUPID MACHINE FOREVER!!!!!! I am sorry but this debate infuriates me, let’s use our GOD GIVEN BRAINS and STOP THE MADNESS…PLEASE,PLEASE,PLEASE

  2. Rushville Animal Shelter HAS NEVER USED A GAS chamber, completely FALSE INFORMATION here. Get your facts straight before you write an article. Would LOVE to speak with the writer of this FALSE article

  3. Sickening! What the hell is wrong with people? We can not call ourselves a humane society until this device is GONE!!!! Disgusted!!!!
    Renee De La Ree

  4. I can barely write, I am so nauseated by this topic and this article. How this practice has been allowed to go on is beyond me!!! As per the earlier comment, what IS wrong with people??!!

  5. I am so tired of animals being Euthanized, Abused, Run Over by Vehicles and Abandoned these are God’s Precious Animals and they deserve better. Animals ask for Love, Shelter, Food and Water in Return they have more Love, Feeling and Companionship then People Shame on Society. Maybe if every community collected $1.00 from every household animals would stand a chance to give someone their love.


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