Opposition to Banning the Gas Chamber in MI

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!)

and finally:

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.

10 thoughts on “Opposition to Banning the Gas Chamber in MI

  1. I dunno, maybe he’d like to spend some time with Senator Heath from GA. They could hang out in his garage, chat, tinker with cars…

  2. while I don’t like this method we should stop calling it “gassing” it is carbon monoxide.. not cyanide . or any other Nazi type “gas”.. many people choose this method to kill THEMSELVES as it is painless. and you “just go to sleep” People in airplanes that lose oxygen also die by carbon monoxide poisoning. Pilots are tested by cutting off their oxygen.. and they lose consciousness..that is all…. while I don’t like the idea of any animal being killed for lack of space..”gassing” and the image it presents is not the true one

  3. CO is, in fact a gas, and the contraptions used to kill pets in this manner are called gas chambers, so the term is, in fact, accurate. CO poisoning is NOT a painless way to die. Ask a veteran police officer or paramedic who has had to deal wit the aftermath of CO suicides. The evidence is quite gruesome and shows that the suicides suffered terribly before dying. Testimony from those who have witnessed the gassing of pets also supports the gruesomeness of this practice. Check out the materials on the Grace’s Law page of http://www.gvaw.org

  4. When I first got into animal rescue, our South Louisiana parish sent their animals to the neighboring parish for “gassing.” One of the animal control officers described the scene to me–an outdoor metal box, crammed with animals, locked down, then the gas (I am assuming it was CO) was pumped in. This guy was a seasoned cop and he told me he got physically ill just performing his job. The parish I did work in now uses injections. I don’t know about the neighboring parish.

    Gassing isn’t the way to deal with “excess” animals.

  5. Wow… the raptors? Really? Is that actually an issue? Have these people not heard of an incinerator? Honestly, there’s myriad more issues with dumping euthanized and deceased pets in landfills. I can’t imagine that this is legal… it certainly is not legal where I live.

  6. The National Animal Control Association CONDEMNS the use of carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide on shelter cats and dogs, and considers lethal injection the ONLY method of choice for humane euthanasia of shelter dogs and cats.

    The American Medical Veterinary Association Guidelines on Euthanasia states: The use of injectable euthanasia agents is the most rapid and reliable method of performing euthanasia…the advantages of using barbiturates for euthanasia in small animals far outweigh the disadvantages… IV injection of a barbituric acid derivative is the preferred method for euthanasia of dogs, cats, other small animals and horses.

    There’s something wrong with an animal control officer who isn’t willing to operate a shelter by today’s standards for humane care and euthanasia

  7. They will all have to answer to God one of these days. Animals were saved on the Ark in the flood so they obviously must be important to God. Killing is killing…an animal’s life is important just as a human’s life is important. Don’t know how we can convince people to spay and neuter so animals don’t end up dying a horrible death at the hands of uncaring people who obviously must not love animals.

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