End Gas Chamber Killings in Animal Shelters

Target: The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA)

Goal: Classify gas chamber euthanasia for shelter animals as “unacceptable.”

In the past few years, much progress has been made to end gas chamber killings in U.S. animal shelters.  As of today, more than 20 states have banned this practice, and even more are following suit. While the Humane Society of the United States has worked hard to eliminate these chambers, it still needs help. Specifically, it would like the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) to classify gas chamber use as unacceptable in its “Guidelines for the Euthanasia of Animals;” instructions intended for use by members of the veterinary profession. If an organization as influential as AVMA stands against gas chamber use, then this awful practice can be ended for good.

Gas anesthetics have been used to euthanize animals for decades. The process involves locking the animal in a sealed chamber where gas is pumped in, causing unconsciousness and ultimately, death. There is strong evidence to show that the animals undergo suffering while inside the chamber. Many claw at the walls and whine to be released while others vomit from the stress, and the introduction of carbon monoxide causes dizziness and panic. The entire process can take up to 30 minutes.

AVMA recently changed the classification of gas chamber use from “acceptable” to “acceptable with conditions,” which is undoubtedly a step in the right direction. Still, by classifying the process as acceptable at all, the organization endorses it in states where the chambers are not banned. Despite the widely held belief that euthanasia of innocent animals is a crime in itself, carrying out animal killings in this way is monstrous, and it is not an acceptable means of euthanasia.

The fight to end euthanasia for good will be a long one, but urging influential organizations to stand against inhumane methods of killing is a vital step for progress. Assist the Humane Society of the United States in its battle to end gas chambers, and urge the American Veterinary Medical Association to change its classification of gas chamber use to unacceptable and inhumane in every case.


Dear American Veterinary Medical Association,

I would like to first thank you for recently changing your classification of gas chamber use for the euthanasia of shelter animals from “acceptable” to “acceptable with conditions.” Because gas chambers are harmful methods of euthanasia that cause innocent animals to suffer physically and psygologically, I would therefore like you to further change your classification of this practice to “unacceptable.” It is evident that by altering the classification in the first place, you recognize that gas chambers are often extremely inhumane. Truly, they are inhumane in every way, and it would be best if no animal were to suffer from them ever again.

Gas chambers prolong the death of the animal and cause unnecessary pain and distress. That 20 states in the U.S. have already banned their use shows how inappropriate they are, and the professional veterinary community must recognize this and take action. Your guidelines for euthanasia are widely followed by clinics and shelters across the United States, and you have the power to help end gas chambers by classifying them as unacceptable in every way. Please do this and stand against a horribly inhumane method of animal killing.


[Your Name Here]

PhotoCredit: Loud for Animals via Piaberrend.org

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  1. Please get your pets spayed/neutered, there are too many free services and very low cost. Part of our taxes go to support the euthanizing of unwanted pets, it’s an out of sight, out of mind horrible way our society deals with throwing away these beautiful livesAny killing of healthy pets is horrific.

  2. Why are we using methods ‘perfected’ by the Third Reich to ‘eliminate’ our ‘surplus’ pet animals?

  3. Carla Franklin says:

    If you hurt a child and go to prison, you’ll get a broom stuck up your behind, but if your cruel to animals your Free as Bird.

  4. Why not stop all types of euthanasia? Pets shouldn`t be killed anyway just because they don`t have an owner in that moment.

  5. Stop Killing Animals In Gas Chambers. Rehome Them In Forever Homes.Also Provide More Shelters While Animals Wait for homes.

  6. Marilyn Caliendo says:

    They do this to animals because they have no money to care for them! But, they put mass murderers in jail and spend tax payer money to feed and clothe these bastards. I have a great idea! Put these bastards in a gas chamber and the money you save from not feeding and taking care of these monsters use for the poor defenseless animals.

  7. I read a lot about people hating this practice, but I see nobody offering a solution? Of course we don’t want them to die, of course it’s an epic failure of our society, of course sterilisation, responsibility, compassion etc. is what we all need more of in our lives, then this wouldn’t be the problem that it is, BUT…. the horrible FACT is that there are vast amounts of innocent animals who are homeless and that need care. Without the resources to take care of them, what do we do?

    I think the point is being missed here. Until we find a way to prevent the unwanted animals issue in the first place, we need to deal with the fact that they exist now. I think the question here is “what is the best way to euthanize these poor animals?”

    Is anybody offering a better option than gas chambers?

  8. caridad moulton says:

    I lived in Turkey and Spain, I have been to alot of other countries where the dogs roam in the streets. You dont see these countries putting their dogs in Gas chambers!! Let them roam! Humans roam the streets freely and cause more harm to the world than animlas!!

    • Alexander Hawkeswood says:

      I agree. The morally correct thing is to either let dogs roam or return them to the natural environment they originally came from as wolves. They might suffer starvation but would never suffer an artificial death. They might very well like the challenge to find their own food and could become more happier, healthier and intelligent than ever before. Under no circumstances is it right for an individual decide to take the life of another

  9. Mahatma Gandhi said, “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated”.

  10. Alexander Hawkeswood says:

    I agree. The morally correct thing is to either let dogs roam or return them to the natural environment they originally came from as wolves. They might suffer starvation but would never suffer an artificial death. They might very well like the challenge to find their own food and could become more happier, healthier and intelligent than ever before. Under no circumstances is it right for an individual decide to take the life of another

  11. Marina Levina says:

    No one has the right to take someone else’s life … fascism towards animals is like fascism, look at ourselves-if your children into the gas chamber, and the animals are children, because they can not without human care … and if you don’t know how to solve this problem without death, monsters and you no better than those who threw a homeless creature, and even worse … God sees the heart of people!!!

  12. Ellen Keneipp says:

    There is no reason for an animal to suffer this way in 2013!!!!!

  13. I have witnessed wildlife euthanized in gas chambers first hand. There is nothing humane about this method.

  14. Veronica Price says:

    How is this okay at all? You would think people on this board would have some kind of heart. It’s heartbreaking enough that sometimes this has to happen but IN THIS WAY???? I’m not even sure that I care to know of a reason deemed legitimate and excusable. Animals are more human than humans are!! I will do my all to fight locally at the very least!

  15. wanda forrest says:

    I thought this practice was out laser…guess not…should be…inhumane..

  16. I hope and pray they ban these cruel horrific chambers from all 50 States it’s horrible how innocent animals have to die for our mistakes by not getting them spayed and neutered no animal deserves to die like this ever I have 2 words for this INHUMANE and HEARTLESS.

  17. maria maynard says:

    Gas chambers are barbarick … We need as humans to take responcability an fix our pets. If ppl went to the shelters an saw the beautiful animals that die everyday it might sink in .. There r programs to help low income families an even free spay an neuter in some places.. Come on folks


  19. it always makes me crie.
    to think of the suffering of all those poor
    who did nothing wrong
    just wanted to be loved by someone
    and than they are gazzed.
    i saw the foto of the poor dog behind the glass.
    what did he done wrong.
    end killing the poor animal.
    i will keep writing.
    i come from the netherlands.
    here they care for stray animals.

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