For Animals In Alabama Shelters
Alliance For Animals In Alabama Shelters
CULLMAN (WIAT) – Thousands of animals are put to death in Alabama each year, mostly because there are not enough homes to take them. While animal rights groups are not protesting that fact, they are protesting one particular method of euthanasia legal in Alabama: the gas chamber.”It’s a very sad reality that we have to do euthanasia at all,” said Allison Almand, member of BARC, which stands for “Bring Animal Reform to Cullman. The group is comprised of five different animal rescue groups in Cullman, and its primary goal is to see the local animal shelter stop euthanizing animals by gassing.“The gas chamber takes 25-30 minutes for the animal to be proclaimed dead, while euthanasia by injection, also known as EBI, takes no more than 5 minutes,” Almand said.The Cullman Animal Shelter is one of only five shelters in the state with a registered carbon monoxide chamber. It has euthanized animals by gassing for years, but also uses lethal injections to put animals to sleep.”It’s humane, but ultimately it’s death, just like injection,” shelter director Tim McKoy said. “So, is there a good way to die? No, not to me.”McKoy said the shelter is moving towards EBI euthanasia only, but in the mean time, does not have the staff to handle the volume of animals that have to be put down.“State law requires that two certified euthanasia technicians be present when administering the lethal injection,” he said. “Only one technician is required to operate the CO (gas) chamber.”Cullman Animal Shelter’s gas chamber is kept in a concrete room near the dog runs and across from the EBI euthanasia room. The door to the chamber room is marked with signs declaring “Employees Only” and cautioning that Carbon Monoxide is contained within.Inside is a large metal box directly facing the door. Beside the door is a metal cage with six different partitions.”The animals are put into a container, a cage if you will, and are put into the CO chamber,” McKoy said. “They are euthanized at that point.”McKoy said animals react to Carbon Monoxide the same way humans do. They breathe the colorless, odorless gas, and become unconscious in about 20 seconds. McKoy said bodily functions cease in less than a minute. The CO machine runs for a 20-minute cycle.
Animal rights activists argue that the CO method does not always work so quickly, sometimes leaving animals to suffer for up to 40 minutes before succumbing.
“They do suffocate to death. That’s how they die,” Almand said. “It may be peaceful for some of them, but, they’re scared in this box. They’re put in there by themselves and they’re scared.”
McKoy said yes, the animals are left alone as the gas is administered, but the hands-off approach is one reason the CO chamber is beneficial to his staff.
“It’s a low impact euthanasia method for the personnel,” he said. “You have to think about the human cost. I love animals, we all do, that’s why we do this job. It’s hard to have to hold an animal down, shave a spot over it’s vein and give it an injection and watch it die.”
McKoy said it’s not uncommon for animal euthanasia technicians to need therapy and counseling to cope with the emotional demands of their jobs. He said it’s particularly tough on his small staff of five, who regularly has to manage a large volume of animals.
“I’m concerned about the animals, but I’m more concerned about my personnel,” he said.
Almand said, that’s not a good enough reason to subject animals to gassing.
“This is their job, they’re supposed to be professionals,” she said, adding that BARC has offered to pay for counseling for the shelter’s euthanasia techs. “In this economy, if they’re not willing to do their job and offer injections, then there are plenty of people who will.”
Both BARC and AVRAL, which stands for Alabama Voters for Responsible Animal Legislation, say animal shelters resort to gassing because it is quick, seemingly cheaper, and can kill multiple animals at once. McKoy said at his shelter, it costs about 35 cents to euthanize an animal by gassing, and about $2.98 to administer an injection of sodium pentobarbital.
Almand said the shelter could lower the cost of EBI if it performed all euthanasia by injection, and could order the necessary supplies in bulk.
McKoy said since the shelter has operated its chamber for so many years, the machine is paid for and the shelter’s staff is fully trained, so the cost is lower than estimated by many animal rights groups.
Regardless, Almand said there’s no question EBI is the best method to euthanize animals, even if it does cost more.
“If it was the time for your animal to die, would you want your own personal animal put in that [chamber]?” she said. “Or would you want somebody to hold your animal, and give your animal one last little bit of love?”
Almand said she’s spoken directly with McKoy about eliminating the CO chamber. McKoy said the shelter is fully within the right of state law to operate it.
Almand said that was all the motivation she needed.
Together with AVRAL, she and BARC are approaching state lawmakers about banning CO euthanasia in the state. AVRAL is the only political action committee in Alabama committed to issues pertaining to animal rights.
The group has written a bill, called the Humane Euthanasia Act. Currently, it’s sponsored by Alabama Sen. Del Marsh [Calhoun and St. Clair] and Rep. Steve McMillan [Gulf Shores].
AVRAL founder Dr. Rhonda Parker said the group is hoping to ultimately call the bill “Beckham’s Bill,” named after a puppy rescued from the Cullman Animal Shelter’s gas chamber.
It’s modeled after a similar bill passed earlier in Georgia called “Gracie’s Law.”
The Alabama Humane Euthanasia Act would require euthanasia be performed by a certified euthanasia technician, and require EBI be the primary method of euthanasia, unless a person’s life was endangered by an aggressive animal.
The Alabama Humane Federation is also proposing a separate anti-gassing bill. Parker said she hopes AVRAL and the Alabama Humane Federation can join forces and compose one effective bill to present to legislators.
BARC is supporting the statewide effort, but is also petitioning to have the gas chamber banned by local lawmakers.
McKoy said he has no opposition to a change in the state law. However, he said he feels it’s a fight pointed in the wrong direction. Instead of battling the methods of euthanasia, he hopes lawmakers will also devote attention to legislation supporting spaying and neutering of animals, and licensing.
“We do have to euthanize animals that are adoptable occasionally. I’m not going to sugar coat it,” he said. “But, it falls back to pet ownership responsibility. It can be spay neuter or caring for your animals. If you allow your animals to run at large, then things happen to them.”
(We have no log or testimony from animal control workers in Alabama Animal Gassing Facilities, but this could be written by any compassionate worker who has this nasty, killing “job”.)
YES, I GAS DOGS AND CATS FOR A LIVING. I AM AN ANIMAL CONTROL OFFICER IN A TOWN IN NORTH CAROLINA:
“Yes, I Gas Dogs and Cats for a Living. I’m an Animal Control officer in a very small town in central North Carolina. I’m in my mid thirties, and have been working for the town in different positions since high school. There is not much work here, and working for the county provides good pay and benefits for a person like me without a higher education. I’m the person you all write about how horrible I am. I’m the one that gasses the dogs and cats and makes them suffer. I’m the one that pulls their dead corpses out smelling of Carbon Monoxide and throws them into green plastic bags. But I’m also the one that hates my job and hates what I have to do.
First off, all you people out there that judge me, don’t. God is judging me, and I know I’m going to Hell. Yes, I’m going to hell. I wont lie, it’s despicable, cold, cruel and I feel like a serial killer. I’m not all to blame, if the law would mandate spay and neuter, lots of these dogs and cats wouldn’t be here for me to gas. I’m the devil, I know it, but I want you people to see that there is another side to me the devil Gas Chamber man.
The shelter usually gasses on Friday morning. Friday’s are the day that most people look forward to, this is the day that I hate, and wish that time will stand still on Thursday night. Thursday night, late, after nobody’s around, my friend and I go through a fast food line, and buy 50 dollars worth of cheeseburgers and fries, and chicken. I’m not allowed to feed the dogs on Thursday, for I’m told that they will make a mess in the gas chamber, and why waste the food.
So, Thursday night, with the lights still closed, I go into the saddest room that anyone can every imagine, and let all the doomed dogs out out their cages. I have never been bit, and in all my years doing this, the dogs have never fought over the food. My buddy and I, open each wrapper of cheeseburger and chicken sandwich, and feed them to the skinny, starving dogs.
They swallow the food so fast, that I don’t believe they even taste it. There tails are wagging, and some don’t even go for the food, they roll on their backs wanting a scratch on their bellys. They start running, jumping and kissing me and my buddy. They go back to their food, and come back to us. All their eyes are on us with such trust and hope, and their tails wag so fast, that I have come out with black and blues on my thighs.. They devour the food, then it’s time for them to devour some love and peace. My buddy and I sit down on the dirty, pee stained concrete floor, and we let the dogs jump on us. They lick us, they put their butts in the air to play, and they play with each other. Some lick each other, but most are glued on me and my buddy.
I look into the eyes of each dog. I give each dog a name.
They will not die without a name.
I give each dog 5 minutes of unconditional love and touch.
I talk to them, and tell them that I’m so sorry that tomorrow they will die a gruesome, long, torturous death at the hands of me in the gas chamber.
Some tilt their heads to try to understand.
I tell them, that they will be in a better place, and I beg them not to hate me.
I tell them that I know I’m going to hell, but they will all be playing with all the dogs and cats in heaven.
After about 30 minutes, I take each dog individually, into their feces filled concrete jail cell, and pet them and scratch them under their chins. Some give me their paw, and I just want to die. I just want to die. I close the jail cell on each dog, and ask them to forgive me. As my buddy and I are walking out, we watch as every dog is smiling at us and them don’t even move their heads. They will sleep, with a full belly, and a false sense of security.
As we walk out of the doomed dog room, my buddy and I go to the cat room.
We take our box, and put the very friendly kittens and pregnant cats in our box.
The shelter doesn’t keep tabs on the cats, like they do the dogs.
As I hand pick which cats are going to make it out, I feel like I’m playing God, deciding whose going to live and die.
We take the cats into my truck, and put them on blankets in the back.
Usually, as soon as we start to drive away, there are purring cats sitting on our necks or rubbing against us.
My buddy and I take our one way two hour trip to a county that is very
wealthy and they use injection to kill animals.
We go to exclusive neighborhoods, and let one or two cats out at a time.
They don’t want to run, they want to stay with us. We shoo them away, which makes me feel sad.
I tell them that these rich people will adopt them, and if worse comes to worse and they do get put down, they will be put down with a painless needle being cradled by a loving veterinarian. After the last cat is free, we drive back to our town.
It’s about 5 in the morning now, about two hours until I have to gas my best friends.
I go home, take a shower, take my 4 anti-anxiety pills and drive to work.. I don’t eat, I can’t eat. It’s now time, to put these animals in the gas chamber. I put my ear plugs in, and when I go to the collect the dogs, the dogs are so excited to see me, that they jump up to kiss me and think they are going to play.
I put them in the rolling cage and take them to the gas chamber. They know. They just know. They can smell the death.. They can smell the fear. They start whimpering, the second I put them in the box. The boss tells me to squeeze in as many as I can to save on gas. He watches. He knows I hate him, he knows I hate my job. I do as I’m told. He watches until all the dogs, and cats (thrown in together) are fighting and screaming. The sounds is very muffled to me because of my ear plugs. He walks out, I turn the gas on, and walk out.
I walk out as fast as I can. I walk into the bathroom, and I take a pin and draw blood from my hand. Why? The pain and blood takes my brain off of what I just did.
In 40 minutes, I have to go back and unload the dead animals. I pray that none survived, which happens when I overstuff the chamber. I pull them out with thick gloves, and the smell of carbon monoxide makes me sick. So does the vomit and blood, and all the bowel movements. I pull them out, put them in plastic bags.
They are in heaven now, I tell myself. I then start cleaning up the mess, the mess, that YOU PEOPLE are creating by not spay or neutering your animals. The mess that YOU PEOPLE are creating by not demanding that a vet come in and do this humanely. You ARE THE TAXPAYERS, DEMAND that this practice STOP!
So, don’t call me the monster, the devil, the gasser, call the politicians, the shelter directors, and the county people the devil. Heck, call the governor, tell him to make it stop.
As usual, I will take sleeping pills tonight to drown out the screams I heard in the past, before I discovered the ear plugs. I will jump and twitch in my sleep, and I believe I’m starting to hallucinate.
This is my life. Don’t judge me. Believe me, I judge myself enough.”
Anonymous in North Carolina
ON HER WAY TO FREEDOM AND SAFETY – LOOK AT THAT SMILE!
I finally had an opportunity to personally help, actually sponsor vet care for a dog needing rescue at Colbert Animal Control, a gassing facility in Tuscumbia, AL.
Another dedicated Alabama animal advocate, experienced in affording her home, resources and care of rescued dogs, Raquel Hollwedel, (RAQUEL CROSSPOSTING, on Facebook) and I contacted a rescue organization, in the Shoal’s area. I knew that this organization had saved countless animals from Colbert Animal Control, as well as Florence-Lauderdale Animal Control, Lauderdale County, another gassing facility.
We devised a plan to rescue this particular dog who first became known to Raquel through an email plea for her life: “This dog was given a reprieve, only seconds before she entered the “door of no return” at Colbert Animal Control.”
The reprieve consisted of only a few days, and we knew “mama” dogs are looked over for adoption, more often than not, in shelters. Her puppies had been taken away from her, and the clock was ticking down on her fate with death, just beyond the door to which she saw other dogs led, and puppies, cats and kittens taken by hand. She heard their cries for mercy, – how could she not?
We contacted a rescue organization, in the Shoal’s area, an organization that had saved countless animals from Colbert Animal Control, as well as Florence-Lauderdale Animal Control, Lauderdale County, another gassing facility.
We named our dog “CC”, sight unseen. Knowing absolutely nothing of the circumstances leading to her impoundment or her history; or… where did she birth her puppies? – It could have been in the facility, but who brought her there? Was she a stray? We had no idea and couldn’t find out from the facility.
Nevertheless, we were out to save this ONE, and considered ourselves extremely fortunate to have the expertise and assistance from a caring rescuer in that area.
On Friday, March 19th, she was “sprung” from Colbert Gassing Facility. The Rescue had her vetted at a local veterinarian’s clinic, even bathed, – h/w negative – (thank goodness), all of which helped more than they will ever know. So much appreciated!
Within hours, our wonderful rescue contact was on her way with “CC” to Birmingham, where the “meetup” destination was planned with Raquel, on her way from Central Alabama. Also in the transport was another lucky fellow from Colbert, whose new DAD was flying into Birmingham, renting a car, and retreiving his “Lil Bud” to drive him to his forever home in Tampa, FL. At the same time Raquel would be receiving “CC”. Wow – these rescue organizations in Alabama are the true heroes for any dog or cat saved from the current animal shelter system!
Tonight, ”CC” is safe and sound with Raquel, where she will stay as long as she needs. She can eat good food, gain weight and strength, recover from birthing, and receive lots of love and care. Raquel has several rescue dogs and cats and is introducing “CC” slowly. She says ”CC” has already had a nap (in Raquel’s bed), snuggling and sharing her beautiful spirit. Raquel added, “It is so touching to detect this dog’s forgiving spirit, and to see the wag of her tail.”
I am feeling good tonight, enjoying the victory of this one dog, although my heart aches for those left behind. With my humble efforts in combating these horrid gassing facilities, our pitiful laws for protection of abandoned animals, and callous routine killing in shelters in general, I am so fortunate to have had a part in saving one. This one is special. She is easily the “poster dog against gassing”.
We have a feeling, given the growing exposure of these doomed creature’s plight and fate, many more will get out alive. There are so many lovely dogs ”imprisoned and condemned” at these gassing facilities, in every facility in Alabama. They are waiting for someone to notice them, and recognize their worth. Our “CC” may be the epitome of “Mutt”, but she is a beautiful dog to us.
It looks as if there is nothing but sunshine coming her way! For the untold number of souls languishing in animal facilities, lost and abandoned by their families, dumped and discarded lives; We hear your cries, and we are coming!
This is the inside of a gas chamber, permanently marked with chilling evidence of the desperate attempts of innocent victims to claw and dig through metal to escape the agony of being slowly suffocated to death by Carbon Monoxide. One day, when these obscene killing machines are wiped from our nation’s landscape, and are prehaps preserved as a macabre relic of past cruelty – in a museum similar to the Holocaust Museum in Washington, or in Israel, – what might our children and our children’s children think of the generations who allowed and accepted this vile method of extermination of homeless animals?
Could language play a part, a precursor to social change regarding our relationship and with animals?
IN DEFENSE OF ANIMALS (IDA) launched the “Guardian Campaign” some years ago in an effort to alter the perception of animals as objects. The word “guardian” indicates a positive and permanent bond between two living beings, while the word “owner” reflects possession of an object. Adopting “guardian language” not only encourages the highest standard of treatment of animals but also elucidates the moral concept of correct treatment of animals, most certainly our family pets, who are often our closest companions.
This campaign has transformed a growing number of communities into “Guardian Communities”, illuminating a new vision in which our companion animals are recognized and respected. It has initiated local efforts by compasssionate minded citizens to convince city councils and county commissioners to change animal ordinances, enact strong animal protection laws and educate and alter fellow residents interpretation and sense of obligation toward our most dependent family members, our dogs and cats.
By contrast, a community in which inhumane systems such as gas chambers are used to kill companion animals can hardly be perceived as a “Guardian Community”.
According to Dr. Michael Moyer, V.M.D., University of Pennsylvania College of Veterinary Medicine:
“There is no progressive sheltering agency of any scope or stature willing to philosophically embrace gas systems for the killing of any species of animals.
Sheltering is deliberately, enexorably, and philosophically moving away from mass killing as an acceptable method of dog/cat population control.”
A community and its leaders that condone and fund the gassing of animals should be condemned by its citizens, as it is universally condemned by humane advocates and progressive shelters.
Want to “Get Political for the Animals” and learn how to pass constructive and beneficial laws for Alabama’s animals. Heres your chance, read below:
“GET POLITICAL FOR ANIMALS”
PRESENTED BY: AVRAL
Alabama Voters for Responsible Animal Legislation – HOME
Author Julie Lewin, National Institute for Animal Advocacy,
will be giving a one-day workshop on how to win strong state and local laws for animals–and their aggressive enforcement–through political action.
April 3, 2010
Holiday Inn Express, Irondale, AL
Exit 133, I-20
Cost of the workshop is $45.
Space is limited and pre-registration is required.
PayPal online to email@example.com or
Mail check/money order with contact info to:
Alabama Voters for Responsible Animal Legislation
PO Box 100902, Birmingham, AL 35210
Friday, February 26, 2010
Mobile Animal Welfare and Protection Examiner
February 21, 2010
The inhumane method of killing animals in a gas chamber is universally condemned by humane advocates and progressive shelters. And yet, only nine states have officially banned the gassing of shelter animals: Delaware, Illinois, Maine, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Virginia and Wyoming.
In February, Georgia legislators voted unanimously in favor of Grace’s Law, a bill that would close the loopholes in Georgia’s Humane Euthanasia Act that still allow some counties and cities to use carbon monoxide gas chambers to kill shelter animals. The bill would also make it illegal by statute to use heartstick unless the animal is heavily sedated, unconscious or comatose. It’s now on to a vote by the full Georgia House of Representatives!
Loopholes and ill defined language in NC, SC and WV bills that were intended to ban the use of gas chambers provided facilities an option, under certain circumstances, to continue the use of gas chambers, for example: a grandfather clause. The failures in poorly written bills are a hard lesson for animal advocates, who glimpsed a spark of hope for our nation’s discarded animals who are condemned to death in the current system of animal control – but well noted.
Animal advocates throughout the USA have become more schooled and savy to the legalities and process of having a bill passed that would benefit animals impounded in animal facilities, paying close attention to additional critical issues such as: conditions of the facility in which they are housed, the environment, the manner in which they cared for and for proper training of animal facility personnel. At the forefront, is the immediate call for applying the most humane methods of euthanasia, with the absolute elimination of gas chambers.
In many cases, state and local government representatives whose municipalities allow gas chambers as an euthanasia method, are experiencing embarrassment, and are being forced to look head-on into the documented evidence, through videos, testimony of witnesses and photographic depictions of the suffering and terror inflicted upon animals suffocating in a gas chamber.
Rescue organizations and individuals spend an insurmountable amount of time and personal resources in “pulling” animals from shelters, paying for veterinary care for “unadoptables”, fostering, searching for homes and transporting homeless animals to distant points in order to save them from certain death. For every animal who enters an animal facility, the clock starts winding down – fast; counting in days, hours or minutes before they are killed.
Some say gas chambers are cheaper to operate for shelters struggling with limited funding, though studies show that is not the case. Still others say there are valid reasons to use gas chambers over lethal injection, such as feral animals, animals with collapsed veins, diseased rats, or a rabid fox or raccoon. Critics argue that even in those exceptions, special techniques and equipment, such as pre-sedation for aggressive animals, could be handled by a veterinarian.
It is another common myth that death takes place quickly in a gas chamber. It takes time to kill, up to 25 minutes to end a dog’s life, during which time the animals experience unimaginable stress and anxiety as they struggle to survive. Some animals even survive the gassing, only to suffer even more. Case in point: gas chambers are designed for ease of the shelter workers, not care and compassion for the animals. A quick search on Google or YouTube will yield haunting images of the horror of these death chambers as animals scream, cry, and gasp for air.
In Alabama an escalating outcry from the public is raising ethical questions directed at the government officials who allow citizen’s tax dollars to fund what is considered a torturous death. Citizens are becoming more involved, educated in the animal control system, the euthanasia laws and regulations written by Alabama legislators and local municipal officials. In addition to digesting the huge numbers of innocent animals killed in animal facilities by the most recognized humane method of euthanasia by injection (EBI), citizens tend to express their shock in learning that gas chambers are still in existence in Alabama.
On February 23, Alabama Humane Federation, through The Humane Society of the United States has invited all Alabama citizens who care about animals to participate in the Alabama Humane Lobby Day at the Alabama State Capitol Building in Montgomery. Citizens will have the opportunity to meet directly with elected officials or their staff about legislation that will impact animals.
You can bet Alabama animal advocates will advocate for the complete elimination of gas chambers in Alabama, as well as urging their state representatives to take a close look at spay-neuter legislation and to take a stand for Alabama’s homeless animals.
Monday, February 15, 2010
The Courier Journal is located at 1828 Darby Drive, Florence, Alabama.
Appalling Pet Death Practice
Are we doing enough to save our animals from the inhumane gas chamber? Many states are outlawing this old method of killing innocent pets. Everyday shelters (yes the ones here in the Shoals) are gassing to death innocent loving dogs and cats while you eat your lunch. A lot of people think they just go to sleep, wrong! They cram poor undeserving animals into a metal cage and roll them into the gas chamber.
These animals are horrified, sceaming, fighting and crying for help. Then they turn on the gas and the animals slowly suffocate, panicking and gasping for air. Some people say the gas burns their eyes and lungs causing the animals to look as though they are crying. If the animal survives, the procedure is repeated. If you think you can stomach watching this, you can see this on YouTube. Do you also think this is cruel?
The Supreme Court ruled that the gas chamber is inhumane for murderers and child rapists, yet we use this on our beloved pets. Can we stand before our maker with this shame on our shoulders? Do you think this is right? Would you take your animals to a shelter?
You can change the laws, only you can make a difference. Please contact your local and state goverments and let them know that we taxpayers are no longer going to stand for the cruel killings of innocent pets.
Until we get the laws changed, here are some things you can do. Never ever take a animal to the shelter. If the animal is sick, injured or old they usually take them straight back to death row. Don’t think just because its a puppy or purebred they won’t kill them. Eighty percent of animals taken to the shelter are killed. Place your own pets. Take out a newspaper ad or contact a rescue. Adopt only from shelters and rescues. Save a life. Buying dogs only encourages breeding, which results in more animals being gassed. Be a responsible pet owner and have your pet spayed or neutered. They say a dog is man’s best friend, but I hardly think man is a dog’s best friend.
RESPONSE FROM ANIMAL FACILITY/LETTER TO EDITOR:
We Love Every Animal Here
To the Editor:
This is a response to the letter you published January 27, (Appalling Pet Death Practice). I have been an Animal Control Officer for almost nine years now and I love my job. It is very rewarding when we find homes for animals after they have been brought to us, whether they are ten years and older or just new puppies coming in. We do our best to find homes for these angels that no one wants any longer. Some have even been owned for years and then abandoned.
I think anyone who has a pet should treat it like they would their child. I know many of you don’t like what we do. Well, we don’t either. I put all the blame on the public for not being more responsible for your pets. Because if owners would take more responsibility and have pets spayed and neutered, we would not be put in this position.
Every animal that comes through our doors is welcomed with loving arms. There are only five of us that work at my shelter, and we are all big animal lovers. In our eyes every animal no matter how big or small deserves a chance at a good home. Pet owners need to step up and do their part to eliminate the gassing of so many unwanted pets. We are a public shelter and cannot turn anyone in our county away, but our shelter can only hold so many at one time. We also need foster homes for our animals so they don’t have to stay in the shelter long.
I would like to take this opportunity to invite you out to the shelter for a visit to get to know us.
Animal Control Officer
Saturday, February 13, 2010
The current laws in the Code of Alabama permit the use of Carbon monoxide chambers. The Alabama State Board of Veterinarian Medical Examiners supplied a list, which they stated was an up-to-date list of animal facilities, registered with the Alabama State Board of Veterinarian Medical Examiners, and would reflect which facility possessed a gas chamber on their premises. From this official list, each facility – noted as having a gas chamber on site – is being contacted. So far, many descrepancies have been discovered. The facilities who state that they have ceased using gas chambers appear to be surprised ASBVME has not updated their “official, supposed “up-to-date” list.
Keep in mind that ASBVME is the ONLY official state authorized regulatory entity to oversee, inspect the euthanasia methods and agents used, and confirm credentials of the person/s designated to perform the function of killing animals in Alabama Animal Facilities. This is their ONLY official function regarding animal facilities. Nowhere in their assigned duties is any phrase or rule that would benefit the welfare and protection of animals who fill these facilities, -and wait in vain for rescue, before they take that last walk- to their death.
As for the state, through ASBVME, offering any protection for impounded animals; (to inspect, or notice animal cruelty, neglect and unsanitary and substandard conditions), ASBVME contends, by law, “these issues are NOT part of their assigned function” – only the business of euthanasia, “killing”.
After reading the links to Alabama animal euthanasia laws and regulations, you won’t help but notice the lack of reference to protection or assurance of humane treatment and environment of impounded animals. I think you will agree that Alabama’s homeless and abandoned animals are in dire need of mandated Humane Standards for every animal facility, as well as the creation of an agency, board or department dedicated to ensuring protection for these most vulnerable animals. Until this protection is officially granted and enforced, animals will continue to suffer at the hands of uncaring, poorly trained personnel and managers in unsuitable facilities.
Instances of abuse within animal facilities are generally covered up, with little or no investigation conducted by local law enforcement, thus numerous animal cruelty crimes go unprosecuted. The tragic circumstances in which thousands of animals are thrown will continue to be hidden away, behind the, often hostile, closed doors of so-called “shelters“, facilities that have become widely considered as nothing more than Killing Facilities. If not for the courageous, diligent and sacrificial work of private rescue groups and individuals, animal facilities would be killing animals seven days a week. Is this what Alabama’s abandoned and homeless animals deserve?
We are in the process of contacting each facility noted with YES (having a gas chamber on site) from the list supplied by ASBVME, to confirm information. We are finding many discrepancies in ASBVME’s official list. Discrepancies are marked below with * and explanation of response from facility below listing.
Below is a quick list of only the Animal Facilities noted on ASBVME list, with a YES the 11th column titled, CO ONSITE, meaning that a gas chamber is onsite: (contact info.for each facility is available on ASBVME original list) :
*BALDWIN COUNTY ANIMAL CONTROL CENTER- YES
(This facility switched to Injection in 2006, “gave” their gas chamber to Jackson County, where it has never been used, and is out of service now.)
*CHATTAHOOCHEE VALLEY HUMANE SOCIETY – YES
(This facility states they switched to Injection in 2005)
*CITY OF DOTHAN ANIMAL SHELTER – YES
(This facility states they have not used the gas chamber in years)
*CITY OF HUNTSVILLE ANIMAL SERVICES – YES
(This facility states they switched to Injection in 2005)
*COLBERT COUNTY ANIMAL CONTROL ASSN. – YES ?
(This facility states they, “have a gas chamber on site, but it has not been approved by the State Board of Veterinarian Medical Examiners.”)
CULLMAN ANIMAL SHELTER – YES
*DECATUR ANIMAL SERVICES – NOT USED
*ETOWAH COUNTY ANIMAL SHELTER – YES
(This facility states that “this a new shelter and they have never used a gas chamber, and employ injection method.”)
FLORENCE-LAUDERDALE ANIMAL CONTROL-YES
*MORGAN COUNTY ANIMAL SHELTER- YES
(Still using Gas Chamber at present time, but hope to switch to Injection when new facility is built.)
Friday, February 12, 2010
TERRIFIED DOGS BEING FORCED INTO METAL CAGE THAT IS SLID INTO THE GAS CHAMBER BOX WHERE THEIR LUNGS WILL BE BURNED UNTIL THEY CANNOT CRY FOR MERCY ANYMORE, AND THEIR LAST GASP FOR LIFE IS EXHAUSTED. CAN WE ALLOW OUR LAWMAKERS AND ANIMAL CONTROL SYSTEM TO EXTERMINATE BEAUTIFUL LOYAL DOGS IN THIS MANNER BECAUSE IRRESPONSIBLE AND CRUEL OWNERS (FELLOW CITIZENS OF ALABAMA) DISPOSED OF THEIR PET LIKE TRASH? If not you, if not me, WHO will be the voice for the victims of an uncaring society?WHAT YOU CAN DO:
If you live in a city/county in Alabama that still allows gas chamber euthanasia, or if you live in the state of Alabama and want to eliminate the use of gas chambers throughout the state,you can do the following:•Contact your local shelter to determine its euthanasia practice. If the shelter uses gas, politely ask the shelter director and your county commissioners to transition to EBI.
•Start a petition to send to your county commissioners, calling for your local shelter to transition to EBI.
•Involve the local media to drum up additional community support for a transition.
•Share American Humane’s resources with the shelter, and let shelter management know that American Humane is available as a resource in transitioning to EBI.•Contact your state legislators — particularly if you are in a county that uses the gas chamber — and gauge their interest in sponsoring a gas chamber ban bill. Contact American Humane’s Office of Public Policy at firstname.lastname@example.org if you need assistance.