Missouri Is One of Four States with Operational Gas Chambers in Animal Shelters

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, na├»vely, 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.

Source: columbiamissourian.com





Note: sources for news articles are carefully selected but the news is often not independently verified.

Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 74-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in many jobs including professional photography. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare. If you want to read more click here.

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4 Responses

  1. M E King says:

    Gas chambers are operated for economy rather than humanely. Many shelters overload.
    Chemical euthanasia can be just as bad
    We need a standardized method that ALL shelters must follow.
    You can TNR every cat with the feral label and tomorrow there will be thousands more that were pets that for whatever lame reason the owners did not want to be bothered with S/N let alone a 15-20 commitment.

  2. Jacie Drecker says:

    And just how does this ungainly large graphic that kills any dial-up user’s account to a standstill (proving how little you care about anyone or anything but yourself, typical), prove me wrong?

    Your anthropomorphizing your own fear of death on all other animals is no proof. That only proves how insecure you are about what is going to eventually happen to you, no matter what you believe or say. Face death, it’s coming to your door eventually–make no mistake about that. Now find the most peaceful method available. And that is one of those “dreaded” gas-chambers that makes you also afraid of death. Grow-up and face reality for once in your mommy’s-basement-dwelling disney-cartoon-educated life.

  3. Sarah Hartwell says:

    Cats and dogs do not necessarily respond to hypoxia/anoxia in the same way as humans. For them it can be a terrifying experience (as witnessed through the observation window). By coincidence I had just scanned an item from Cats Magazine (1978) about this. It should only be used for an animals that is too dangerous to be handled.

  4. Jacie Drecker says:

    Educate yourselves on the true effects of “death by hypoxia”, loss of oxygen. Whether from replacing oxygen with inert gasses like argon, carbon-dioxide, helium, or other non-toxic gasses. Or by simply removing the air in a low-pressure chamber emulating high-altitude conditions. Scuba divers who die this way even have a name for it, they call it “Rapture of the Deep”, because it is such a blissful and pleasing experience that the diver doesn’t even know they are going to die in the next few minutes.

    It is actually the most humane and blissful way for any sentient life-form to die. BBC even did a remarkable documentary on this titled “The Science of Killing” when confronted with researching the absolute most humane ways to end a violent criminal’s life.

    You’ll be surprised to find that this form of death is even more humane than lethal injection, or any other way that every other living thing on earth will eventually die. Should I ever be allowed to choose how I will die, I will gladly choose death-by-hypoxia, no contest.

    Why are you so against this? Because someone less educated than you told you to be against it and now you are condemning all living things that must be put-to-death to a less humane and more excruciating way to die? That makes no sense, now does it.

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