MI is looking at legislation to ban the use of the gas chamber for killing shelter pets. There are eleven county animal control units still gassing pets in the state and one of those counties is Berrien. Berrien’s County Administrator Bill Wolf is opposed to the bill for several reasons:
1. Although three AC employees have received the required training in euthanasia by injection, the shelter doesn’t have a kill room. (An obviously insurmountable obstacle.)
2. If killing via carbon monoxide poisoning is banned, it’s a slippery slope to ending the killing of all healthy/treatable pets. (Oh noes!)
3. Also on that slippery slope is mandatory spay-neuter. If we stop gassing pets, next thing you know we’ll be voting on MSN. (mkaaaaay. Well if that happens and you are opposed, I guess you should vote no.)
4. There is a $5000 grant available from a private contributor to counties who switch from gassing to injection. Mr. Wolf opposes that because, “Private financial incentives should not drive public policy”. (Heaven forfend we mix private money with politics – that could be the downfall of our government!)
5. Think of the raptors! Shelter pets killed with sodium pentobarbital and then dumped in open landfills get eaten by raptors. The drug remains in the carcass for some time after death and has killed some birds. I’m assuming Mr. Wolf does not drive a car, use herbicides, buy food grown with pesticides, or make use of power lines – all of which are significant threats to raptors. (If my assumption is wrong, his argument rings a bit hollow for me.)
While I disagree with Mr. Wolf’s reasons for opposing the end of gassing in his state, I am also disturbed by his attitude toward his community’s pets:
Although rescue organizations have no responsibility for public safety and can choose which animals they take in, county animal control departments do not have that luxury, Wolf said.
“We’re dealing with the worst of the worst,” he said, and as a public safety agency, animal control is required to pick up all strays.
The worst of the worst. Way to promote adoption in your county Mr. Wolf. With friends like you, your shelter’s pets don’t need gas chambers.
Thank you Heather H. for alerting me to this issue.