What is gas chamber euthanasia?
Euthanasia is supposed to translate to painless death but dying in a gas chamber is anything but that. Gas chambers are made of either cinderblocks or metal. Inside these chambers, animals are slowly asphyxiated by poisonous carbon monoxide until they finally succumb to death. The process isn't pretty - it typically includes gagging, gasping for breath, vomiting, defecating, fighting/biting other animals, animals beating their heads against the chamber walls and clawing the sides of the chamber to escape.
Does the gas chamber effectively kill the animals inside of it?
Some states have laws which mandate that puppies, sick, injured, or older animals are to be spared from the gas chamber since these animals have impaired or underdeveloped lungs and it takes longer for them to die this way, which prolongs their suffering. However, there are many shelters that gas these animals anyway due to lack of funds to purchase lethal injections...
It is not uncommon for animals survive the first round of gassing, only to be put back in with the second group of animals to repeat the process. Some shelter personnel have admitted to breaking kittens' and puppies' necks with shovels or drowning animals in buckets of water when they would not die from the gassing. Undercover footage has also shown animals being thrown against walls and beaten...
Here you can see the inside of two different gas chambers--both have claw marks engraved in the steel from the thousands of animals that have unsuccessfully tried to escape the horror they were experiencing as they suffocated.....
Is the gas chamber safe for shelter workers?
Some government officials claim that their states continue to rely on gassing because it is safer for their animal control officers when they need to handle aggressive animals, but anyone who has observed the situation would agree that it is safer to sedate an animal and then euthanize them with lethal injection than it is to have to physically drag them into a gas chamber.
Also, there is a great deal of documented evidence that shows that gas chambers often leak carbon monoxide which can poison the shelter workers over time. Carbon monoxide gas is odorless and colorless, and shelter workers may not even know they are breathing it. It is a deadly gas, and even inhaling low levels can cause dizziness, tinnitus, blurred vision, nausea, speech impairment, confusion, loss of consciousness and even death. Long term effects even from low level chronic exposure can include blood disorders, cardiovascular disease, neurologic, memory and other cognitive impairment; convulsions, and damage to lungs.
If the gas chamber is cruel to animals and unsafe for people..... shouldn't it be illegal?
We think so! Gassing animals is the same as what Hitler did to people during the Holocaust. Even convicted rapists and murderers who are put to death are granted a painless lethal injection, not tortured in a gas chamber.
Sadly, there is no legislation prohibiting our pets from being gassed in most states... some of the states that still allow gassing are Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Kentucky, Ohio, West Virginia, Nebraska, and Michigan. Of all of the United States, there are only 14 with legislative restrictions regarding the gassing of our companion animals.
You can see a list of the states and their specific restrictions by clicking here. In North Carolina alone there are 21 shelters that still utilize gas chambers as their primary euthanasia method.
The gas chamber has been hidden behind dark shelter walls for too long…. we think the public should know about the horrors of it so that we can speak up and stop putting our tax dollars towards practices that abhor us.
"Volunteers heard a dog barking in a freezer after it went through the shelter's gas chamber and was assumed to be dead. The gas chamber used is sealed with duct tape."
--Mr. Campbell worried that the makeshift sealer
lengthened the time it takes for animals to die.
Thunder's Angels supports the passing of legislation that would outlaw this cruel practice in states where it is still legal. Until the laws are changed, we will remain committed to rescuing the dogs who are languishing in the rural shelters where gassing is still used. Given the cruelty of the gas chamber, we consider the animals who are doomed to this horrible fate to be most urgent and we are committed to saving as many of them as we can, no matter where they are located - we do not feel that it would be fair to the ones who are suffering right now if we were to wait for laws to change. Animals are being gassed to death today. More will be gassed tomorrow. And even more, the day after. These are sweet, loving, loyal companions who have been abandoned by the people who were supposed to love them the most. We wont turn a blind-eye or give up on them, even if we can only save one at a time ...