The last three gassing pounds in America 2024

A gas chamber to kill cats and dogs with what looks like a cage in which they are transported to the killing machine
A gas chamber to kill cats and dogs with what looks like a cage in which they are transported to the killing machine. Image: Nathan Winograd’s email to me.
Until September 7th I will give 10 cents to an animal charity for every comment. It is a way to help animal welfare without much effort at no cost. Comments help this website too, which is about animal welfare.

RELATED: Street protest September 29, 2022, against a gas chamber to kill shelter animals

There are only two U.S. states where the gas killing of dogs and cats is still legal — Missouri and Wyoming. And in those states, there are only three pounds where they are still used. 

  • In Missouri, that pound is in Poplar Bluff.
  • In Wyoming, the pounds are in Evansville and Green River.

The Green River police department, which oversees the facility, said that pound staff who gas animals to death care about them and treat them “fairly,” a claim no one believes as there is no progressive sheltering agency of any scope or stature willing to embrace gas systems for the killing of animals. When the chamber fills with gas, the animals inside gasp for breath, feel a searing pain in their lungs, and often claw at the chamber door or throw themselves against the sides, desperately trying to escape.

Nathan Winograd in an email to me.

Unfortunately, efforts to shut down the gas chamber in Green River were dealt a setback after Best Friends Animal Society gave the pound a “national award” for its “achievements,” even though it spent the year gassing animals.

Nathan Winograd who has consistently criticised Best Friends for lack of animal welfare standards.

My thanks to Nathan Winograd for the above section of this article. He is America’s strongest shelter animal advocate and the saver of many thousands of lives. Although, for me, he unfairly criticises PETA and it is unhelpful. 🐶 PETA versus Nathan Winograd

[The presence of gas chambers is] just another black eye on the state of Wyoming and its unwillingness to change when it comes to the humane treatment of animals.

Cheyenne Animal Shelter Chief Executive Officer Britney Tennant (also the founder of Black Dog Animal Rescue

When did animal pounds in the US first start using gas chambers to kill unwanted animals?

There isn’t a definitive date for when gas chambers were first used in animal shelters, but it likely started in the early 20th century.

Here’s some information from Google Gemini which may interest:

  • Gas chambers were used for executions in the US as early as the 1920s, and the technology likely transferred to animal shelters around the same time.
  • Euthanasia by injection became available in the 1960s and is now considered the most humane method.
  • Some sources say gas chambers were first proposed in the late 1800s [sources discussing the history of gas chambers in animal shelters are not available due to search restrictions].

Despite being considered archaic and cruel, a small number of shelters continue to use gas chambers. Efforts are underway to ban their use entirely.

Why are gas chambers an inhumane way to ‘euthanise’ cats and dogs?

Gas chambers are considered inhumane for several reasons:

  • Pain and Distress: While intended to be painless, animals can experience panic, anxiety, and struggle for breath during CO2 exposure.
  • Improper Dosing: Unlike injection, ensuring a proper and quick dose for each animal in a chamber is difficult. Some animals may linger and suffer longer than intended.
  • Stressful Environment: Being placed in a gas chamber is a terrifying experience for animals. The unfamiliar environment and presence of other deceased animals can heighten their fear.
  • Alternatives Exist: Lethal injection with proper medication is a much more reliable and peaceful way to euthanize animals.

Overall, gas chambers cause unnecessary stress and suffering for animals in their final moments.

RELATED: Utah bans the use of gas chambers to kill shelter dogs and cats leaving 2 states where it is legal

Comment: The very existence of the gas chamber as a means to kill unwanted pets at shelters indicates a less than optimal relationship between human and companion animal. Some would say that in stronger terms. But we can see how we have progressed in terms of a more humane and respectful relationship with pets as these frigthening devices have been consistently fazed out in America. Although it is shocking to animal advocates that there are a few left. This also might tell us something about the administrators of the states of Missouri and Wyoming. They would seem to be backward in terms of animal welfare standards. Is there other evidencen that these states are backward in this regrad?

Is Missouri a state that is backward in terms of animal welfare standards?

Missouri’s animal welfare laws have some aspects that might be considered behind more progressive states, but it also has some strong protections. Here’s a breakdown:

Areas for Improvement:

  • Shelter Euthanasia Methods: Missouri doesn’t have a ban on gas chambers in shelters, although their use is uncommon with most shelters opting for injection.
  • Limited Regulations on Breeders: There aren’t extensive regulations on commercial breeding facilities compared to some states.

Positive Aspects:

  • General Anti-Cruelty Laws: The state has clear laws against animal cruelty, neglect, and abandonment.
  • Licensing Requirements: Animal care facilities require licensing and inspections by the Missouri Department of Agriculture. This ensures minimum standards for housing, food, and water.
  • Mandatory Spay/Neuter Laws: Some Missouri cities have enacted mandatory spay/neuter laws for cats and dogs to help reduce pet overpopulation.

Resources for Research:

Overall, Missouri’s animal welfare laws are evolving. While there’s room for improvement with shelter practices and breeder regulations, the state does have baseline protections and some progressive policies in place.

What about Wyoming?

Wyoming’s animal welfare laws have some aspects that could be considered less stringent than some other states. Here’s a breakdown:

Areas for Improvement:

  • Limited Standards for Pet Welfare: Wyoming primarily focuses on preventing cruelty rather than outlining specific requirements for pet care, housing, or enrichment.
  • No Ban on Gas Chambers: Like Missouri, Wyoming doesn’t have a ban on gas chambers in shelters, though their use might be uncommon.
  • Focus on Livestock: Many regulations around animal welfare pertain to livestock management and disease prevention, with less emphasis on companion animals.

Positive Aspects:

  • Updated Anti-Cruelty Laws: Wyoming strengthened its anti-cruelty laws in 2021 to include provisions against neglect and abandonment.
  • Penalties for Abuse: The state has clear penalties for animal cruelty, with potential fines and imprisonment depending on the severity.


Wyoming’s animal welfare laws prioritize preventing cruelty but might lack the detailed standards seen in some other states. While the 2021 updates are positive, there’s room for improvement with specific pet welfare regulations and a potential gas chamber ban.

For further research:

  • Wyoming Statutes – Animal Legal & Historical Center: [Wyoming Animal Cruelty Laws ON Animal Legal & Historical Center]
  • SF0026 – Animal abuse statutes – Wyoming Legislature: [Wyoming Animal Cruelty Statute ON Wyoming Legislature]

In conclusion:

Classifying Wyoming as entirely “backward” might be too strong. However, compared to states with more comprehensive animal welfare legislation, it could be considered less progressive.

Source for the above: I have relied on Google Gemini as this AI bot is accurate. It searches the internet for answers which is exactly what I do but the AI bot does it a thousand times faster. 😃

2 thoughts on “The last three gassing pounds in America 2024”

  1. Pets in Joplin Missouri are no longer gassed! Only mortally wounded thru sickness or severe abuse are euthanized with drugs. And while we send long term shelter pets to other shelters all are no kill. Our shelter also has great people who donate to subsidize the cost of adoption. But right now they have 300+ cats and 400+ dogs waiting so many are heading to Colorado for adoption.


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