Humanely Euthanize A Cat

by Elisa Black

Feral kittens - Please Don't Gas Us

Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles:- Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

Feral kittens - Please Don't Gas Us

I'm really sorry everyone. The details just showed up on this in my email from one of my pet newsletters and there's not much time to act. So unfortunately, I have something that takes precedence over good news. Actually, if we can stop this, it will turn into good news.

I'm warning everyone before I begin. This WILL make you cry.

My topic for today is GAS CHAMBERS.

This is one of the most barbaric ways to euthanize an animal that I can think of. It is not a way to humanely euthanize a cat. Michigan is trying to ban this and needs everyone's help. The Humane Euthanasia of Shelter Animals Act, HB 4263 will go before the house on April 28, 2010. Here is a link to sign to ban the gas chamber.

This method of destroying unwanted, sick and abandoned animals is as cruel as the name sounds. The animals are put into a gas chamber and slowly killed by lethal carbon monoxide fumes. It's the equivalent to being shut in a car, stuffing a rag in the tail pipe, and being carbon monoxided to death. Where I live we call it suicide when a person does this to intentionally. Otherwise it's murder.

These animals aren't committing suicide. Nor are they being peacefully euthanized. They're being murdered. Sometimes several at one time. And its upsetting to everyone involved. Here is a link that verbally describes what the shelter workers and the animals go thru. I caution everyone that it is heartbreaking. I could probably find YouTubes but I refuse to add those because our worst nightmares on the subject are true. It's bad enough to read about the subject. Watching it would probably cause PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder).

States that ban gas chambers for euthanasia include Arizona, Arkansas, California, Delaware, Florida, Maine, Maryland, New Jersey, Oregon, Rhode Island and Tennessee. Virginia banned the use in 2008. If I've missed any states I apologize. Many states are in the middle of passing laws to ban the chambers. Feel free to include more states under the comments sections so everyone will see.

The American Humane Association states the ONLY humane method is an injection of sodium pentobarbital (lethal injection). Being humane doesn't necessarily make it right or easier to study the subject.

Many states have met with opposition from veterinarians saying the lethal injection is dangerous to the vet/shelter worker/etc. when dealing with feral/sick/injured animals. They argue that the gas chamber should be an option for a dangerous animal. Does an animal that isn't dangerous deserve to die a violent cruel death simply because it's a feral. There's something very wrong with this logic.

My state has made the switch from gas chamber to lethal injection. Or perhaps I should say my area. A lot of states enforce the law one county at a time. At one time prisoners on work release in my hometown were in charge of carrying out orders to destroy the unwanted animals. It was a program to take time off of the jail sentence for minor offenders. The day came when the prisoners flat out refused to do it. One told me how it was heartbreaking to lead someone's former pet to its death. Can any of you imagine how hard it would be to pet a dog wagging its tail in greeting, push it into the chamber and hear its cries? Then pull out its lifeless body up to 45 minutes later. It can take a long time to die in the chamber. Read the above link and you'll see why.

Carbon monoxide gas chambers are not only lethal to the pets, they're lethal to humans. Animal workers have literally taken ill or died after being exposed to the gas. Since animal care workers should be explained the danger involved, this type of injury doesn't fall under workers compensation in most areas. Several states have reported dangerous levels of the gas OUTSIDE the actual chamber.

The danger to humans is forcing many areas to ban the gas chambers. I think it sad that it had to come down to human comfort to put a stop to MURDER and to humanely euthanize a cat.

Now we can all act because we're armed with information. With our group here on information leads to action. We can sign the petition. We can check our local shelters and be sure the unwanted are in fact EUTHANIZED and not MURDERED. Or should I say murdered to a lesser degree. I don't believe in killing any healthy animal. That is one thing I know will never change.

We can help change outdated laws that allow such inhumanity. Please forward this article to all of your animal loving friends.

This article was mentally exhausting. Many of my stories are. We have until April 28, 2010 to help the animals in Michigan.

I end this as I feel I've made my point.


Associated page:

Euthanise a cat

Humanely Euthanize A Cat to Feral Cats

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Humanely Euthanize A Cat

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Jun 03, 2011
A Reality Check
by: Anonymous

Well my city doesn't have the funds to humanely euthanize. The vets don't want to be bothered with ferral cats, the animal care/control center was caught mistreating animals in their care. The ASPCA has one day a month for catch-neuter-release.The ferral cat colonies are growing with kittens running in the streets,with draining eyes, and few want to help.

So evil me, actually euthanized a few sick ferral cats, using helium, and yes I'd rather a lethal injection, because there are 30 sec to a full min when I believe the cat knows it's dying.

Having acknowledged that I find an eqivalent if not greater amount of protracted suffering with patients dying in the hospital daily ! At least the cat's death is fairly fast, within minutes; the human being can linger for weeks, aware, often in pain, distress and suffering .

I love the idea of pain and distress free dying,
for animals and humans, but we're no where there yet, and truthfully I'd rather have a fast death by gas than what I witness in our hospitals and streets daily. I'm hoping for a helium or carbon monoxide death for myself, rather than a hospitalized death.

So helium provides a fast merciful death, as death goes, but it's less humane than an injection, because there is a point where the animal KNOWS what is happening, it's not sleeping into death, but again it's fast.

I catch the cat in the cage, which has been saran wrapped except for the ends. Get a large helium ballon tank, the one for 50 ballons, and tubing.Connect the tubing to the helium canister before hand cut a small hole in the wrap pushing the tubing through. Test canister before this. Seal ends of cage well with saran, and place wrap around tubing to prevent leakage; then turn the helium on keeping it at low flow. It slowly displaces oxygen in the cat's system. The cat will increasingly pant, then slowly, up the flow allowing the contents to empty. Keep the cage covered so the cat can face death without blaring lights and noise.

This is a fast death,and nearly everyone will call it cruel,and me a monster, but fast is better considering what I'm seeing in the lives of ferral cats. No I don't think you would want this for fluffy who you've had for years because of that minute of awareness and discomfort that I'm seeing.

I love animals, and I wish I could give them a better death, but I can't. I hope the cat spirts and my creator will forgive me and understand.

Sorry for the graphic reality check.

Feb 07, 2011
ethical choice
by: Anonymous

The article written by Elise shows that she truly care for animals, I agreed with everything! Im shocked that this ptactice is still so popular in spite of the tormentuous death where money is the point, animal compassion is a bonus which doesnt take place in this case! Iv turned Vegan for many reasons and I feel good with myself and in peace with my companions animals to not support anymore the dreadful cruelty all over the world in many areas to exploit and abuse innocent helpless living creatures. Im often ashamed to belong to the human race!

May 11, 2010
Thank you
by: Bruce

It was upsetting to read your article. I had no idea this was being done to animals and I will definitely sign your petition after posting this because this type of procedure has no place in any decent society.

Apr 24, 2010
Busy busy
by: Ruth

I know what you mean about too busy Elisa !

Yes I think people should let Michael know if they enjoy your articles, you have no way of knowing without getting feedback do you ?

Well you know I love your articles anyway and try to comment as I think the more popular Michael's PoC is, the more he raises and generously gives to cat charities.

He's a STAR !

Our local Sanctuary Kays Hill feral Unit is up and running now thanks to his financial help.

I'm glad my declawing articles pop up so much on Google alerts as it's a diferent sort of abuse, being pre-meditated and done by the last people you'd expect to abuse cats !

I expect a lot of your articles pop up on Google alerts too under 'cat concerns' or similar.

Kattaddorra signature Ruth

Apr 23, 2010
Too busy
by: Elisa Black-Taylor

I believe people today are sometimes too busy to comment. I love to read the comments but I'm like everyone else. Sometimes in order to read everything, I either don't have time to leave comments or forget to go back and leave them later. I think a lot more people read them than we think. Just let Michael know so I can write more stories. This is major entertainment for me. I love to find a subject I'm interested in and run with it. My daughter probably thinks my fingers are glued to the computer.

Apr 23, 2010
This is AWFUL
by: Fran

I've signed and passed it on too Elisa.

I can hardly believe your article has got so little response.

Keep up the good work!

Apr 22, 2010
Ban gas chambers
by: Michele S.

Elisa thanks for bringing this to our attention. Like many others I'm horrifed that animals are being euthanised in such a cruel manner. I've signed the petition and passed it on to everyone in my address book.

Petitions can often have a positive impact, so I'm praying that this does too.

Apr 20, 2010
Thank you Elisa
by: Ruth

Elisa I've signed the petition and will pass it to everyone I know and we will post it on our Claws groups too.

Some of the Paw Project volunteers,especially one we are in contact with, are already aware of this too and doing what they can to get it stopped.

Kattaddorra signature Ruth

6 thoughts on “Humanely Euthanize A Cat”

  1. I am so sorry. There simply is nothing much worse. It’s as though, every time one of my babies pass on, they take a chunk of me with them. Life is never the same. But thank God we are able to have them for that moment in time.💔

  2. I know a great deal of time has elapsed… But when I had a beloved cat put to sleep, she was first given the injection that they use for performing surgeries on the animals. She slowly fell asleep in my arms. Then came the second shot to stop the heart. The vet was going to plunge it into my cat’s heart, but I asked what if you just injected it? He said it would take longer but it would still stop her heart. For my own psyche, I chose the latter option. She was sleeping anyway, but the violence of plunging the needle into her heart would have made a sad experience even sadder and more violent to me.

    • I think you are right. I had to leave the room and a friend of mine stayed with my cat. I was in torment in the waiting room.

  3. Thanks for that Michael. This has left me not trusting any vets at all with my rabbits. I’ve had several other things like this happen as well with my rabbits, because in emergencies I can’t get to a rabbit specialist, and dog and cat vets where I live just aren’t up on rabbits, or they just see them as vermin. But thanks for looking that up for me. Other things I have read seem to indicate the proper way to put down a rabbit is with two injections, one to sedate it and a second to really put it down, or they inject into a catheter, which means they have to shave, and all these things to a rabbit would be stressful. Seems like there is no really good way to put rabbits to sleep, but stabbing into heart is just crazy.

  4. I took my rabbit to the vet to be humanely euthanised, the vet insisted that the veins were to small for a needle so the only way to euthanise was to inject into the heart. I know it hurt my rabbit. It screamed. If I ever have a rabbit that needs to be put down I will do it myself- either helium or bullet to the head. I have read of rat and guinea pig owners complaining of the same inhumane process of euthanising being used as well.

    • Thanks, Tanya, for that. Out of interest, my vet euthanises by an injection to the abdomen, as far as I am aware. It appears to be painless. Not sure why your vet injected into the heart – a “heart stick” I think it is called. I’ll check this out. THis is what I found out:

      “Injection of 20% Pentobarbitone directly into the heart (intracardiac) may be suitable in collapsed, unconscious animals. However, this requires skill and knowledge of anatomy because failure to inject into the correct place will cause pain. It should only be used by experienced technicians in an emergency.”

      Source: World Society For The Protection of Animals.


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