Locals who care about animals are encouraged to show up to peacefully hold signs, pass out flyers, or just to show support of removing the gas chamber and implementing changes to decrease the kill rate. The public is also encouraged to sign up to respectfully speak to commissioners about switching to euthanasia by injection (EBI) with previous sedation, the most humane way of euthanizing animals according to leading animal protection organizations, at the 7:00 commission meeting (http://www.co.davidson.nc.us/
Most people have had pets and would not want to have them destroyed in a gas chamber if they need to be euthanized for terminal illness or suffering. Standard veterinarians use EBI with previous sedation.
“I urge local residents to attend this peaceful rally,” said Angela Allred, a rally organizer. “It’s not a protest, just a peaceful gathering to advocate for improving conditions for the animals. Remember, this is your tax dollars at work and you have a voice about how they are spent.”
“We wish the shelter didn’t have to euthanize any healthy, treatable, and rehabilitatable animals,” said Laura Ashby, another rally organizer. “But when they do, it should be in the most peaceful way possible, not with a gas chamber.”
“We would really like the shelter take more steps toward 'no kill,' which includes education programs to teach our young people about responsible pet ownership, pet owner retention programs, adoption programs for all adoptable animals, volunteers, and partnerships with outside organizations and veterinarians,”
The method of destroying animals in a gas chamber has been denounced by nearly every national humane organization.
The American Humane Association has stated, “…euthanizing shelter animals by carbon monoxide or carbon dioxide is inhumane to the animal and harmful to humans. American Humane Association considers euthanasia by injection (EBI) to be the only acceptable and humane means of euthanasia for all shelter animals.” Source: http://www.americanhumane.org/
The Humane Society of the United States stated, "Carbon monoxide (CO) gas is, without question, an unacceptable method of euthanasia in states where shelters can legally obtain and administer sodium pentobarbital."
The Association of Shelter Veterinarians has stated, "...the use of carbon monoxide for individual or mass companion animal euthanasia in shelters is unacceptable due to significant humane, operational and safety concerns."
Please read their document available online at: http://www.sheltervet.org/
Gas chambers are not only inhumane for animals, but also pose a risk to shelter staff.
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 asphyxiation, organ damage, or coma. There have been incidences when people were injured or killed in shelters, including two shelters in North Carolina. In 2009, a shelter worker was put in the emergency room when a gas build-up caused the door of the Lincoln County, North Carolina shelter to explode open. In 2008, an explosion occurred in a gas chamber at Iredell County, North Carolina Animal Services. In 2000, a shelter worker died of asphyxiation while operating a gas chamber in Tennessee. And in 1997, a veterinarian was severely injured while operating a gas chamber in Illinois.
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)
Removing the gas chamber would also remove the stigma to the county for using this outdated practice. And it would be less demoralizing for the staff that puts the animals down.
Most counties no longer use this barbaric method to euthanize any animals. To date, only 11 counties out of 100 in North Carolina that still have a gas chamber. Recently, several North Carolina animal shelters removed their chambers. Rowan County plans to stop gassing altogether within the next few months, after obtaining proper equipment to handle aggressive animals.
Local residents are concerned that Davidson County will be one of the last remaining counties using this outdated method of destroying animals. Other process improvements can help the shelter get on the path toward “no kill.”
Currently, a local resident named Hal Triplett is running for sheriff who, if elected, would work on removing the gas chamber, as well as hire an animal abuse investigator. Recently, a FaceBook page (https://www.facebook.com/
“It takes a truly compassionate person to care for humans and animals alike,” said Allred. “Hal Triplett has a very impressive background in military service, the police force, and canine training. He’s the person who will help Davidson County make positive progress for the residents as well as the animals. Please vote for Hal Triplett on May 6th.”
Local residents who care about the welfare of animals are asked to attend this peaceful rally and commissioner meeting.