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The following was written and submitted by Madhu Anderson of Rock Springs.
I wish to provide some perspective on the special animal group meeting held on March 6, 2019 at the Rock Springs City Hall, which I participated in.
In the meeting, the Rock Springs Animal Control Supervisor, Mr. Mike Kiggins, mentioned that the gas chamber used at the shelter is the most humane method of euthanizing unwanted pets and feral cats.
With my research, (gas chamber videos, photos, talking to people who have witnessed the process), I have found out that euthanizing shelter animals in a gas chamber is the most inhumane and cruel, and also unsafe and emotionally unhealthy method of euthanasia.
Death by carbon monoxide can be slow and terrifying. During the process, in an unfamiliar sealed box, stressed animals gasp for breath and try desperately to claw their way out. With stronger smelling sense, they can smell urine, feces, vomit, and death from the animal before them.
Animals that are too old, too young, sick, injured, or with respiratory problems can suffer even longer, as the gas takes longer to get into their lungs. Their medical conditions and proper age is unknown by the staff as there is no veterinarian at the shelter.
Dragging a stressed, aggressive dog or cat with a catch-pole or physically carrying the animal to the gas box can be dangerous for the staff. Without extremely strict regular supervision and maintenance, slight leak of the poisonous gas can put staff, volunteers, and the animals at the shelter in great danger.
A dart with tranquilizer can be used to get the animal under control and then, if necessary, lethal injection can be used as a method of euthanasia.
Most states have banned these chambers for animal welfare and safety of the staff. An animal care organization has offered a financial grant towards training staff in lethal injection euthanasia and to remove, dismantle, and destroy the gas chamber.
Since most people in Rock Springs are against the use of the gas chamber, their hard earned taxpayer money should not go towards the gas chamber. The gas chamber should be removed from the Rock Springs Animal Control facility immediately.
For more information, I will be speaking at the next Rock Springs City Council meeting, in which I will give a presentation about the gas chambers.