The Idaho Falls Animal Shelter’s gas chamber broke down beyond repair and they couldn’t come up with the $30,000 to buy a new one. So the shelter is now killing pets by lethal injection. Irene Brown is the shelter manager and while she recognizes that many pet advocates oppose the use of the gas chamber, she maintains that death by gas chamber is just as humane as death by lethal injection:
She said that although the animals do “vocalize” sometimes, it’s mainly because they feel tingly as they fall unconscious.
Ooh, they feel all tingly as they pleasantly drift off… sounds delightful – like a spa treatment!
“They don’t know what’s happening to them, so they vocalize. It’s not because they’re in pain,” she said.
She doesn’t share how she knows this (perhaps she’s an animal communicator who has talked with the spirits of pets she’s killed in the gas chamber?) but I would contend that an animal vocalizing because “they don’t know what’s happening to them” is an animal in a state of panic and fear. Not exactly “humane” to my mind.
The entire process of gassing animals takes about 20 minutes, compared with just seconds using a lethal injection of sodium pentobarbital.
20 minutes. I know the animals are not conscious for that entire time but I don’t know with any certainty how long it takes the average pet to reach a state of oblivion in the gas chamber. And however long that takes, with the pet in a state of panic, choking on carbon monoxide and crying out – it’s too long.
Then of course you have pets who fall outside the “average” gas chamber victims:
Over two years ago a litter of kittens was brought into the Chubbuck Animal Control Facility in eastern Idaho.
The decision was made to euthanize the kittens, which were deemed too diseased and sick with distemper to be adopted out. The litter was dispatched in the shelter’s gas chamber – but there was a survivor.
“One kitten had crawled underneath the others,” said Officer Tim Hancock, director of animal control for the Chubbuck Police Department.
“He’s our shelter cat, Lucky,” said Hancock, explaining that a co-worker took the black-and-white tuxedo kitten home and nursed him to health.
“We figured if he made it, then there’s a reason he made it.”
Too sick to be sheltered but too vital to die in the gas chamber – does this make sense?