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Nash sticks with two methods for euthanizing animals

Posted August 11, 2010

— Nash County officials have decided to keep two methods for euthanizing dogs and cats, despite protests from area residents.

The county's animal control program uses lethal injection to put down puppies, kittens and pregnant animals and uses a gas chamber for all others.

A group of residents has pushed the county to stop using the gas chamber, so the Nash County Health Department, which oversees animal control, looked at its options.

Health Department Director Bill Hill said his board heard from a state public health veterinarian and a state shelter inspector in July. In the end, the board decided to stick with both methods of euthanasia for the time being.

"Both methods are recognized as humane methods. I realize there is a lot of debate about that, and I realize that, in most cases, the injectable method is the preference," Hill said.

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

Hill also noted that research has shown that the gas chamber method is more cost-effective.

Nash County gas chamber for euthanizing animals Nash officials decide against giving up gas chamber

Shelly Milburn, a member of the group that opposes the gas chamber, argued that injections are cheaper and a more humane way to put animals down.

"The way the animals die (in the gas chamber) is a much more horrific way if they were to be euthanized by the IV injection," Milburn said.

While the decision to use both methods in Nash County stands for now, Hill said the county could reconsider in the future.

"Certainly, we care about the citizens and their feelings and their voices," he said. "The simple tragic fact is that the supply (of pets) is too great for the demand."

The county is trying to increase adoptions from its shelter and plans to hold more adopt-a-thons, he said.

Milburn said her group will keep fighting to close the gas chamber.

"Everybody is just really kind of disappointed about it and the fact that everything was really evasive as far as how they reached their decision," she said. "It really needs to be all or nothing."


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  • bonnnie Aug 13, 2010

    It is a shame that any animals have to be put down. I suspose it is better to humainly put them down that to be with people who will abuse them in all kinds of ways. PLEASE PEOPLE SPADE AND NUETER YOUR PETS!!! I have mine. That is the truely humane thing to do!

  • Baybee Doll Aug 12, 2010

    This makes me so sad. It is WRONG.

  • fishon Aug 12, 2010

    Free and mandatory spay/neuter needs to be implemented in EVERY county

    Sure lets have more free stuff, all aboaard the free stuff train!

    There is very little that is free in this world. Somebody pays for it.

  • lec02572 Aug 12, 2010

    If the county governments really want to control the pet population, then they should offer free spay and neuter to all. It would certainly cut the cost of operating the shelters, provide a service to the public, cut the cost of having to use euthanasia. There has to be a better way.

  • Flooper101 Aug 12, 2010

    They need to practice safe sex

  • jkca Aug 12, 2010

    Overall, it's just heartbreaking that this has to happen to animals at all. I wish there was a solution to the over population of animals. All of the pleading and begging for folks to spay and neuter their pets isn't going to convince irresponsible pet owners to do the right thing. I work with low income families who want to spay or neuter their pets but do not have the extra money to do it. I just want to ask them why they have a pet in the first place if they can't afford the pet care?????????????

  • cocker_mom Aug 11, 2010

    No - it's not humane - the America Veterinary Board has come out against it. The dogs die at different rates and it's simply not humane. Injection is the only real humane method of euthanasia. And if the workers are worried about aggressive dogs - about $.25 worth of a drug hidden in food will make any dog approachable and not dangerous.

  • bekindinnc Aug 11, 2010

    karinyates, I totally agree with you. It's very easy to say "We'll gas them, it's much more cost-effective."

    Then tell me your opinion after you have witnessed animals gassed to death - at least make an informed decision about it. And do not dare tell me gassing is humane. It's not an instant death either - some gas chambers can take up to 10 minutes.

  • karinyates Aug 11, 2010

    The health department board members should have been made to witness a gassing before deciding euthanasia by gas chamber was humane. Adopt-a-thons are hardly the answer to pet overpopulation. Free and mandatory spay/neuter needs to be implemented in EVERY county. In the long run, it is also more cost effective than housing and killing pets.