Humanely Euthanize A Cat
by Elisa Black
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 pictures-of-cats.org 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.
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.?
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.
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.
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.