Local News

Nash reconsidering how it euthanizes animals

Posted May 20, 2010

— Momentum is building in Nash County to change the way the local animal shelter euthanizes dogs and cats.

Nash County Animal Control uses a gas chamber, but a group of citizens is pushing the county to use lethal injection instead.

"The gas chamber is just a really ugly and stressful and painful way for an animal to be put to sleep," said Shelly Milburn.

Nash reconsidering how it euthanizes animals Nash reconsidering how it euthanizes animals

Milburn and others say they understand the shelter cannot stop the practice of euthanizing animals, but she and others believe injections are a more humane way of doing so.

"We just want them to be able to have a peaceful ending," Milburn said.

Milburn's group has started a petition and set up a Facebook page to raise awareness about the matter.

This week, the Nash County Board of Commissioners asked that the county health department, which oversees animal control, research and consider the citizens’ request.

"We are certainly in legal compliance, but we also want to be a good moral reflection of the community," health director Bill Hill said.

Hill says that, although the gas chamber meets all state regulations, he's open to lethal injection. There are many factors to consider, he said, including how to properly secure and administer injections.

"When you are dealing with larger, more aggressive animals that end up in the shelter, sometimes, it takes a lot of restraint," he said. "I'm concerned about personal safety."

Hill says animal control is continuing to research the matter, and he says he hopes to have more information about the issue in the next few weeks.

Milburn says she and others are encouraged by the county's response so far.

"It seems like there are just so many people right now getting on board with it that they seem to be paying more attention," she said.

More than 20 shelters across the state use gas chambers and methods other than lethal injection to euthanize animals.


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  • HereswhatIthink May 21, 2010

    I am so glad things like this are finally being addressed. It is time that gas chambers and death by heartstick be banned! Thank you so much to the people that are working so hard for the animals. They did not ask to be in the shelter. These dogs and cats need to stop being looked at like trash and just throw them away so to speak when you don't want them anymore. I agree that we need tougher spay and neuter laws. The animals on the news last night were so sad! I hope and pray they get adopted before it is too late.

  • nccoalition May 20, 2010

    Response to "FreedomRings"
    Your post was actually incorrect on the cost issue. The gas chamber has been shown to cost MORE. Please see this cost analysis based on an NC shelter. http://www.americanhumane.org/assets/docs/advocacy/ADV-co-ebi-cost-analysis09.pdf

    Also at this link, facts about gas chambers http://www.americanhumane.org/assets/docs/advocacy/ADV-ebi-factsheet.pdf

  • hockeygalnc May 20, 2010

    This is a great move for Nash County to seriously consider. Another way all counties and citizens can help stop so many animals dying (and our tax dollars used for other things like schools and roads instead of killing animals) is to SPAY and NEUTER dogs and cats. Most counties have low cost options available. If you are in Wake County and have a cat that needs to be altered click on the following link:
    http://alleycatsandangels.org/alter.html or email us at TNR@alleycatsandangels.org and we can give you more information on other programs in the area for dogs and cats as well! Let's all do our part to help stop the needless deaths of homeless animals! Adopt your next pet and make sure your current pets are spayed/neutered!

  • freedomrings May 20, 2010

    It all boils down to funding. It costs more to humanely euthanize an animal and this is where shelters meet road blocks. Many shelters have applied to euthanize via injection, but lack of funds prevents it oftentimes. It is still possible euthanize a feral/wild an animal via injection and not use gas. A strong sedative is given prior to the injection. To see what gas euthanasia really is you can watch this video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jlIeTKWMkd4 . It is an emotional video, but it is factual.