I don’t know what the other states are, I am sorry to say. However, it is sad to read that there are still four states with operational gas chambers in which they kill shelter animals. I had thought, naïvely, that all of them had been decommissioned and thrown away but apparently not.
It is pleasant to read that one gas chamber (see above) in the town of Moberly has been carted away on the back of a trailer. It had not been used since 2015. It was just sitting there at the Moberly Animal Shelter causing a problem because people weren’t sure whether it was being used or not. It presented a bad image of the shelter to the public.
Clearly animal welfare has moved on in leaps and bounds because at one time gas chambers were not that uncommon as I understand it. Now they are seen as totally unacceptable and something out of the dark ages.
The Moberly Animal Shelter gas chamber was decommissioned on Wednesday. The local Humane Society gave the city a grant of $3000 in exchange for the decommissioning of this objectional metal box. The money will be used to fund training and other resources. It is a good deal.
“People just basically degraded the shelter because we had a chamber even though we hadn’t used it… We had a lot of people bashing the shelter saying, ‘if it’s still there, there’s still a chance’ ” – director of Animal Control Moberly, Tasha Koeven.
Tasha says that she has seen the gas chamber being used once in 2014. A dog was killed in it. It was an unpleasant experience watching the dog die. It took about 10 minutes. The dog gasped for air and collapsed unconscious.
The gas chambers in Missouri are, we are told, mainly used to euthanise wildlife and feral animals. In the past, of course, they were used to euthanise pets. Personally, they should not be used at all and I don’t think one can justify their use to kill a wild animal or a feral cat. They are still feeling animals and we are still responsible for their welfare.
Apparently, the stress that the animal feels when being killed in a gas chamber prolongs their death because it increases the amount of adrenaline in their bodies.
Attempts to rid Missouri of all its gas chambers has failed by legal means and now the focus is on obtaining voluntary agreements from shelters to end their use. The Humane Society is willing to work with shelters to destroy their chambers. As mentioned above, they are prepared to offer grants and to educate the shelters. A part of the education is to inform shelters that lethal injections costs about the same as killing an animal in a gas chamber. Therefore, gas chambers cannot be justified in terms of cost.
I would rate this a good cat news story and as a clear indicator that animal welfare is improving.
P.S. Amanda Good is the Missouri State Director for the Humane Society of the United States and she think gas chambers are inhumane. Yes, of course.