It was reported that officials in Green River, Wyoming, have refused to stop the use of a carbon monoxide gas chamber to end animals’ lives at the city’s animal shelter, despite a nonprofit’s offer of $5,000 to help cover costs that may be associated with a switch to euthanasia by injection of sodium pentobarbital, the most humane method of euthanasia available today. Gassing animals to death at animal shelters is inhumane and has been condemned by the American Veterinary Medical Association and animal sheltering experts—it’s so cruel and dangerous that dozens of states have outlawed it.
Gas poisoning can be slow and terrifying. During the process, which can take up to 25 minutes, panicked animals often gasp for breath, try to claw their way out of the gas chamber, and—when more than one is forced into the box—attack each other. Some animals must be gassed repeatedly before they die, while others have lived through the poisoning process, been found alive in freezers, and been discovered at landfills after being presumed dead. Many animals admitted to animal shelters have already been abused, neglected, and betrayed. When euthanasia is necessary, they deserve a peaceful, painless end.
Carbon monoxide exposure is also dangerous to workers, placing them at risk for short- and long-term health problems or even death—especially when chambers leak and ventilation systems fail.
After hearing that officials were claiming that the city would need an additional $1,000 (above and beyond the $5,000 pledged by another nonprofit group), PETA offered to provide the additional funding. To date, the city hasn’t even acknowledged our offer.
Please join PETA in urging Green River, Wyoming officials to remove the shelter’s outdated gas chamber and immediately switch to euthanasia by injection to offer a peaceful end to animals who require euthanasia.