The public is encouraged to join and hold signs, pass out flyers, and attend the commissioner meeting to voice their opinion in support of removing the gas chamber.
County officials will be urged to vote to remove the gas chamber immediately and switch to euthanasia by injection (EBI) with prior sedation, the humane way of euthanizing animals according to leading animal advocacy organizations.
“We want to show the Rowan County commissioners that we are committed to advocate for a safer, more humane animal shelter,” said Kayli Stanton, a rally organizer. “We refuse to give up on this cause until this barbaric method of killing animals is stopped.”
Gas chambers are not only considered inhumane by leading animal organizations, but they can also pose a risk to animal control workers.
Carbon monoxide gas in high concentrations poses a risk to humans because it’s odorless, colorless, tasteless, and highly explosive. Released in a confined area, it can cause organ damage, coma, or asphyxiation. There have been incidences (http://www.americanhumane.org/
Some who oppose removing the gas chamber claim that there is no alternative for wild or dangerous animals. But organizations such as the American Humane Association have overcome this objection and many other concerns on a fact sheet comparing gas chambers vs. EBI on their website. These include cost (EBI is less expensive), safety (EBI is safer), and shelter worker preferences (EBI isn’t demoralizing)
To date, there are only 10 counties out of 100 in North Carolina that still use the gas chamber as the primary method to destroy homeless animals. Two other shelters still gas animals, although not as the primary method.
Many animal advocates believe that the reason Rowan County is one of the last shelters to still use an animal gas chamber is because the majority of residents don’t know it exists.
The county has already been offered a grant to dismantle the gas chamber and switch to EBI, but has not accepted it. Grants have assisted a number of other animal shelters to make the transition and improve shelter conditions.
People who care about animals are asked to attend this peaceful rally to request more humane treatment of homeless pets and better shelter conditions.
Pia Colon Wurth
Pia Colon Wurth