From the HSUS statement on the Alabama 44 posted on their website:
It has come to our attention that four of the dogs sent to the Lincoln County shelter were deemed unadoptable and may have been euthanized via the gas chamber method of euthanasia. […] It is deeply disturbing to us that these dogs may have been euthanized by this method, and we are disappointed and saddened that we were not notified in advance so that we could look for other options for the dogs. [emphasis mine]
Per the Lincoln Co Animal Shelter records on those 4 dogs, they were gassed to death. In reviewing the records below, note that in the state of North Carolina’s report, it was indicated “for any shelter information sheets (disposition records) that did not state that the method of euthanasia was by injection, it meant that the animal had been euthanized by using the CO chamber or, where indicated, had been adopted”. Further, there is no indication on the records that HSUS wanted to be contacted in the event LCAS decided to kill the dogs.
(To view the shelter records for the 4 gassed dogs in Google Docs, click here.)
It is also worth noting that the dogs were kept alive only 10 days at the shelter. This is in no way a reasonable amount of time for any scared, unsocialized dog to learn to trust. Therefore, I don’t consider these dogs to have been hopeless cases where all good faith attempts to help the dogs adjust had been exhausted and they were still deemed a threat to humans. Furthermore, the odds that all 4 of the dogs would have reached the end of their rehabilitation efforts and been deemed hopeless on the same day are ridiculous. Ten days in a kill shelter to a group of adult dogs who have never known life beyond their backyard pack is nothing. Which is apparently the value HSUS and LCAS had assigned them.
But that’s not the value of these dogs to a true humane society – small h, small s. And as such, I’d like to post the photos of the dogs to honor their memory.