Not only are owner-surrendered pets in danger of being euthanized immediately, but in Oklahoma, those pets may be killed in a gas chamber. It can take as long as 40 minutes for an animal to die using this method, and they are not always placed in the chamber alone. The animals die in a horrifying, panic-inducing state of suffocation and fear. A video I mention below, showing a gas chamber execution of several dogs, reminded me of the final scenes in The Boy In The Striped Pajamas, a story about a boy whose father works for the Nazis at an Auschwitz-like concentration camp.
Fortunately, two of our legislators in Oklahoma have stepped up to the plate to try and stop this madness.
Oklahoma Legislators Co-Author Bills Outlawing Gas Chambers
Oklahoma Sen. David Holt, R-Oklahoma City, and Rep. Brian Renegar, D-McAlester, co-authored House Bill 2764 and Senate Bill 1729 this year to outlaw the gas chamber. The bills require private and public shelters to dispose of its domestic animals only through:
- Adoption to a suitable home
- Delivery to a licensed educational or research institution
- Euthanasia by lethal injection or other means approved by the Animal Industries Services Division of the State Department of Agriculture, except carbon monoxide gas chambers
The bills also requires euthanasia methods be as painless as possible to the animal as determined by the best available medical and scientific knowledge and technology, that the staff should keep the animal as free from anxiety and fear as possible, and that the method should be as simple as possible.
The House bill was sent to the Agriculture and Wildlife committee on February 4 and has had no further action.
The Senate bill passed on March 11 with a vote of 43-0 by Senators. This bill was then sent to the House on March 12 and referred to the Agriculture and Wildlife committee on March 27. It is now co-authored by two other legislators, as well.
But even if this bill passes, we still have the problem of too many dogs, and too many family pets being euthanized, no matter how “humane” the method.
What can you do to stop the gas chambers, and pet euthanasia in general?
Take action now
1. Join the “Stop The Gas Chambers” Facebook page to learn more about gas chamber usage and recent Oklahoma legislation to outlaw these inhumane contractions.
2. You can also sign a petition to tell Oklahoma government officials to ban the gassing of dogs and cats. According to Larissa Tuttle, creater of the petition:
In many shelters, this cruel method of “euthanasia” involves placing animals in a gas chamber without sedation where they suffocate to death. In some pounds, cats are piled in with dogs, small dogs are mixed in with large dogs, and they all fight each other for the last breath of air.
3. You can also read one man’s story of how it is his job as an Animal Control Officer to kill dogs in his town’s gas chamber.
I won’t post it here, because the video is so heartbreaking, but on the Stop The Gas Chambers Facebook page, there is a video showing two men loading several dogs into a gas chamber. These dogs calmly let the men carry them to their deaths. One of them tried to climb out of the metal box, but I imagine he was just wanting to be with a person, not realizing that he was about to die.
The men then put the lid on the box, and turned the gas on. I had to turn the sound off on my computer because I couldn’t stand to hear the sounds of those dogs crying.
What kind of evil people are we for letting this happen to animals who want nothing more than to be our beloved pets?
4. Read this story about an Oklahoma puppy who survived a euthanasia attempt.
5. Write your legislators, asking them to ban the gas chamber in Oklahoma.
6. Finally, get your pets spayed or neutered. Do not contribute to our current pet overpopulation problem.