Your Opinion: Shocked by shelter’s use of gas chamber

Dear Editor:

I am shocked about the use of the gas chamber at the Jefferson City Animal Shelter.

The fact that the chamber is homemade from an old freezer truly speaks volumes about their sympathy for the animals’ welfare. JCAS claims that they require the gas chamber to use on the more aggressive animals but that simply is not true.

I spoke with the animal shelter in St. Louis and was told that for the very aggressive animals they use a push cage. They also commented that the use of the gas chamber was horrible. A push cage is simply a cage made specifically for the purpose of pushing the animal to the back of the cage so it can be sedated from outside the cage and then put down humanely.

It infuriates me for veterinarians to tell me animals simply “go to sleep” in the chamber.

I think the use of the chamber just makes life easier for veterinarians and people who run the shelter since they can set the animal’s cage in the chamber and walk away. They do not have to watch how the animal suffers.

In addition to being horrific for animals, gas chambers also pose serious risks to the shelter workers and they cost more to operate than euthanizing by injection.

JCAS needs to join the thousands of animal shelters across the country in banning this archaic practice.

You can visit www.americanhumane.org/assets/pdfs/animals/adv-ebi-factsheetpdf.pdf to read their fact sheet about gas chambers.

Issue-oriented letters to the editor in response to this or about other local topics are welcome. All letters should be limited to 400 words. The author's name must appear with the letter, and the name, address and phone number provided for verification. Letters that cannot be verified by telephone will not be published. Send letters for publication to editor@newstribune.com