Iredell County Animal Shelter director, Brad Gates called the removal of the carbon monoxide gas chamber for euthanizing pets "another step in the right direction" in a press release on Friday. Although gas chambers to euthanize animals are legal in North Carolina, The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) consider them inhumane for the following reasons:
- "The animals euthanized in shelters are often old, young, ill or injured; none of these animals can be humanely euthanized in a gas chamber. Even healthy adult dogs and cats will suffer stress just by being placed in a gas chamber, making their death inhumane.
- Gas chambers pose great physical and psychological harm to staff. Staff must handle, transport and place animals into the chamber, putting them at risk of bites and scratches. Animal care workers have also been injured and killed by carbon monoxide, a colorless, odorless and tasteless toxic gas.
- Studies have proven that it is more expensive to operate a gas chamber than it is to purchase and use euthanasia drugs."
Past reports of alleged mistreatment of animals and euthanizing dogs and cats too quickly before the animals ever had any opportunities of getting adopted resulted in the resignation of Chris Royal, the former shelter director.
Brad Gates stated chemical injections will be used for seriously injured, ill, or dangerous animals, however he hopes the future will be able to guarantee a home for every adoptable pet in the shelter.
“Our goal is to eventually have every adoptable animal leave the shelter to a new home,” Gates said, “but we will need the public to help by choosing adoption over purchasing, and by controlling unintended breeding by spaying and neutering their pets.”
The old gas chamber will be dismantled and sold for scrap.
Please visit the Iredell County Animal Shelter and consider adopting your next four-legged best friend. The shelter is located at 430 Bristol Drive in Statesville and receives approximately 6500 animals annually. The Shelter’s Adoption Center is open Monday through Friday and on Saturday.
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