Court Orders Hocking Co to Stop Torturing Animals in its Homemade Gas Chamber

The Ohio SPCA has been trying to get Hocking Co to stop gassing animals for years.  But the county has fought, both in court and in the court of public opinion, to keep gassing.  After all, the county’s gas chamber is homemade and everyone knows homemade things are the best.

This month, the 4th District Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the Ohio SPCA and ordered the Hocking Co dog warden to stop gassing animals and start killing them via injection.  The dog warden is already certified to kill animals by injection, it’s just that he didn’t feel like it, because who would when you’ve got a homemade gas chamber to play with?

At issue in the ruling:  Ohio law requires that animals be killed humanely, including being rendered unconscious immediately and painlessly.  The Hocking Co homemade gas chamber leaked carbon monoxide and wasn’t actually the swell killing device the county made it out to be:

A former assistant Dog Warden and humane agent, Chris Vickers, testified that when they were in the gas chamber, he heard dogs “screaming like they had been hit by a car and injured”. Gassing took several minutes and was not always effective in causing death. He would see dogs struggling, fighting, urinating and defecating on themselves. He routinely found blood, bite marks, feces and urine on their bodies when he removed them from the chamber after gassing.

“Not always effective in causing death” sounds like some pets were still alive after being tortured in the Hocking Co gas chamber.  Those animals were presumably put back inside for more torture until they finally died.  Yeah, I can see why the county is so head over heels with this thing.

The county lawyer argued that killing animals by injection is stressful for both people and animals.  No mention was made of the stress from working in a place filled with carbon monoxide fumes and the sounds of pets being tortured to death.  Also:  homemade!  Like on Etsy!

Hocking Co has 30 days to appeal the ruling to the Ohio Supreme Court.  When contacted by the local news for comment, county officials hid.

The ruling may force other counties in Ohio to stop gassing pets as well since they too must comply with state law ensuring humane death for animals.  The gas chamber is not humane and the recent court ruling upholds that.

Let’s be clear:  Killing healthy/treatable animals for convenience is not in any way humane – even if it’s done by injection.  But for rare cases when euthanasia is warranted to end the suffering of a medically hopeless pet, the most current humane method should be used.  Thankfully, many communities have ended the practice of convenience killing in their open admission shelters.  Hocking Co could join them, assuming the dog warden and county officials have stopped crying in their beer over the loss of their beloved torture device.

(Thanks Arlene for sending me this story.)

10 thoughts on “Court Orders Hocking Co to Stop Torturing Animals in its Homemade Gas Chamber

  1. It never ceases to amaze me that people can be so cruel! Why do they condone this vile practice? What if we began gassing people because of overpopulation? I bet they’d think twice about their vile actions! They can’t be bothered to be aware of the cruelty in killing nor do they care? They’re a bunch of assholes who can’t be bothered with reality and I hope that someday they’ll wake up and make positive changes!

  2. They do it because it’s easy. And if it’s easier for someone to listen to a dog thrashing around in agony than it is to actually network them and try to get them into a home, you really, really have to wonder about the type of person you’re dealing with.

  3. I cannot even imagine what it must be like to listen to the animals suffering and maybe not even dying. It takes someone without a soul or a bit of compassion to kill that way. To think that there are others defending it, just hard to get my brain around. Basically, if you can’t own it, then don’t do it. If killing by injection bothers them, then maybe they could – like – adopt them, return to owners, place them with rescues . . .
    Gassing is a medieval torturous way for an animal to die – I really thought Ohio was beyond that. Guess not. Michigan has a few counties who still use gassing to death, and there’s a movement to stop them!
    God help those innocents who died such horrible deaths. No excuse.

  4. HSUS published a manual on killing pets with gas chambers back around 1985 or so, and it included instructions for building a homemade gas chamber, with diagrams.

    1. I signed with two paragraphs of civil, but harsh and true, comments about why he needs to be canned. I truly hope this petition won’t be ignored. Maybe a separate post on this would be a good idea, so it could be found more easily by readers of the blog and those who could find it by searching particular keywords.

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