Utah cat survives two rounds in gas chamber

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A cat in a Salt Lake City, Utah shelter survived two attempts to kill it in the facility’s gas chamber.

The obvious bad news is the fact that this method is used anywhere in 2011. The good news is the cat is recovering has been turned over to a local rescue organization.

But I also have a Pack of Putrid Punditry Award to hand out. The WPTV.com article includes the following quote –

This is actually a recommended method by the American Veterinarian Association and we follow all the procedural guidelines that they give us,” said Aaron Crim, a West Valley City, UT Spokesman. “We’ve never had an instance like this since we started using this method so it does work. It’s actually very humane and it’s very quick. This is just an anomaly.”

For one thing, it is my understanding that the National Animal Control Association has a new guideline for euthanasia which states “… lethal injection of sodium pentobarbital, administered by competent, trained personnel, to be the only method of choice utilized for humane euthanasia of animal shelter dogs and cats … NACA condemns the use of carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, nitrogen, nitrous oxide, argon, or anesthetic gases as well as physical methods such as electrocution, gunshot, and blunt force trauma for animal shelter euthanasia of dogs and cats.”

It is clear that gas chambers are NOT humane. Because we know more now about animal cognition and self awareness than we did in the Stone Ages or even a couple of decades ago, we know that animals can suffer emotionally as well as physically.

It is bad enough that due to the actions of irresponsible people, we have animals ending up in shelters by the millions each year. And it is bad enough that millions die each year or even one. But we must use science and logic to finally ban the use of gas chambers worldwide.

There is no doubt that animals suffer from the moment they are stuffed into the dark chamber to the amount of time when they are suffocating to death. I would suggest that anyone who considers the gas chamber to be humane try a round of water-boarding.

Or if their family pet was suffering with cancer or some other terminal illness, would they personally choose the gas chamber over injection? Clearly, the answer would be – no. And I don’t think any responsible veterinarian in the country would suggest a client use a gas chamber in these cases, for a beloved family pet.

A vast number of shelters across the nation are using only injection. There is no excuse for others to continue to use chambers.