Bill to End Cruel Gassing of Unwanted Pets

Most people think the gas chamber was long ago replaced with more humane methods of euthanizing shelter animals. So did Ohio Representative David Leland, until a constituent came to him with concerns that the cruel practice is still being utilized.

This prompted Leland (D-Columbus) to devise a bill that would end the inhumane method of euthanizing domestic animals once and for all.

The legislation now has a joint sponsor Rep. James M. Hoops (R-Napoleon) and has become a bi-partisan bill with numerous cosponsors, said Leland.

Erie County Dog Pound in Sandusky, Ohio, reportedly is one of the few remaining shelters still using carbon-monoxide gas to euthanize unwanted pets. The warden was not available for comment about why it’s still in use and to what extent.  The warden did not return phone calls.

“This is not done to the extent that it used to be done,” said Leland. “The fact that it’s allowed in Ohio, that this is not prohibited,  is an issue.”

Leland said he wants to ensure that no pets are subjected to this ever again in the state.

“When shelter animals have to be put down, it should be done with the compassion we would expect for our family pet,” said Leland. “While the use of gas chambers in shelters has become a rarity in this state, we are one of the few that still allow it to happen at all. Passing this bill will demonstrate Ohio’s commitment to treating animals humanely at every stage of their lives.”

This isn’t the first time a bill to ban the gas chamber has been put before the Ohio legislature. A similar bill failed in 2018.

“This seems to have a lot of support,” said Leland. “But it’s not a slam dunk, so to speak. Even though most people are horrified at the thought of animals being gassed. This has been tried before and was not successful.”

Leland said it’s important to make legislators aware of your thoughts on the matter through telephone calls and emails.

Ohio is one of only four states in the nation that still uses this practice to euthanize in shelters.

Various animal rights organizations, such as the Humane Society of the United States and the Ohio Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, have publicly denounced the practice of euthanizing animals using gas.

An animal can survive in a gas chamber for as long as 25 minutes.

Under the best circumstances, an animal loses consciousness after a few minutes. If the chamber is poorly maintained or if the animal is very young, very old, ill, injured or stressed, it can take much longer. In the worst cases, the animal is still conscious while its vital organs begin to shut down.

The Humane Society recommends using sodium pentobarbital to euthanize animals.

A study commissioned by American Humane in 2009 comparing the cost of the gas chamber to Euthanasia By Injection (EBI), it determined that  EBI cost less than half, $4.98 per animal vs $2.29.

The bill only protects domestic animals. At least two counties in Ohio reportedly continue to use the gas chamber for wildlife, Butler and Knox counties.

Leland said he would consider having wildlife included in the bill but that he would need to research the issue further. “This could be added later in the process and I would be very open to having conversations about that,” Leland said.

There is also legislation in the senate that would end the practice of gassing.

Senator Kenny Yuko (D-Medina) introduced legislation in February that would prohibit putting down domestic animals by use of the gas chamber.

Senate Bill 167 states that no person shall recklessly destroy any domestic animal by the use of a any high altitude decompression chamber or carbon monoxide gas chamber.

The bill prohibits any method other than one that immediately and painlessly renders the domestic animal initially unconscious and subsequently dead.

Yuko’s bill, however, does not include wildlife and does not prohibit the use of gas chambers in the slaughtering of livestock.

38 thoughts on “Bill to End Cruel Gassing of Unwanted Pets”

  1. Please stop the gas chamber. These pets deserve to have a life. Help find them homes

    1. It causes real suffering as they gasp for air and when chamber malfunctions Its HORRID CRUELTY,not to mention the dogs smell death and have to be dragged! There was one shelter in Saugus Ca trs ago I was with Petfinders and we protested, talked to as many as needed and it was dyopped I witnessed about 2:00 door was open we saw them dragging this poor dog, ansolutely terrified into to chamber, we were about 100 ft away trying to catch a couple stray cats someone had abandoned, it was country area, happened to be right near shelter? Was horrific!

    2. It causes real suffering as they gasp for air and when chamber malfunctions Its HORRID CRUELTY,not to mention the dogs smell death and have to be dragged! There was one shelter in Saugus Ca trs ago I was with Petfinders and we protested, talked to as many as needed and it was dyopped I witnessed about 2:00 door was open we saw them dragging this poor dog, ansolutely terrified into to chamber, we were about 100 ft away trying to catch a couple stray cats someone had abandoned, it was country area, happened to be right near shelter? Was horrific!

    3. This is absolutely unreal and ungodly disgusting. I don’t understand how people can do this to animals and how they can watch them suffer. Absolutely definitely horrifically evil

    4. It’s about time if you dont understand how horrific it is witness it for yourself, if you can bear and stand there and watch..u have no soul..its inhuman perood.

    5. I agree that house pets should be put up for adoption rarely cheap to ensure they will get a new home with people that want them and will love them. I feel this inhuman act should be stopped completely.

      1. I totally agree. It’s like Hitler all over again killing innocent jews but its animals instead. I think the killing of all animals domestic and exotic should be stopped with a punishment of high fines and prison time.

  2. The idea of any living creature being killed in a Gas Chamber is DISGUSTING…It’s 2020, not WW2…
    What are the people doing this NAZI’S? It’s just sick.

  3. Dear sir please close this horrible inhuman way of killing abandoned and unwanted animals please 25 minutes to die THATS DISTURBING AND JUST WRONG PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE STOP THIS BARBERIC WAY OF PUTTING ANIMALS DOWN ITS OUTDATED AND SO CRUEL THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIME SINCERELY

    Denise Linn Jasenosky

    1. This is pathetic so cruel I can’t imagine this occurring. Why can’t it be done in a humane way called a simple needle. No animal shud have to die it’s so unfair.

  4. I would like to see an end to animal breeders…puppy mills, cateries,
    People raising animals for cruel trophy hunting…its all got to stops

  5. In 2020 I thought we had turned the corner on animal cruelty with the President making animal abuse a federal crime but here they are… using gas to slowly poison terrified pets.
    I’m happy to help campaign against this abhorrent practice if you will draft the legislation.

  6. This is ridiculous to be so cruel and so miserable these poor animals need love they don’t need to be shown hate cruelty they need to be love

  7. They have had the greatest unjust already done to them abandonment. .please make it so their exit from this cold world is alittle less terrible for them. More humane to give injection.
    Ask yourself ?……

  8. If you know anything about this method of murdering unwanted pets you would be horrified to know that this antiquated practice is still in use. There is absolutely no excuse for using this method. Much more humane ways are available. This nation needs to put more effort into preventing unwanted pets instead of killing them. But since they haven’t done had they could at least euthanize humanely. It’s sickening!

  9. People need to start making improvements; not going backwards. There shouldn’t be any gas chambers to begin with. Please ban the use of these on animals. Spaying and neutering more and banning puppy mills would be a significant start.

  10. Please stop this cruel and outdated practice immediately. Animals are family, would you want this for your son/daughter or your family pet? These pets have feelings and have already been done wrong by humans in one way or another, if you must and their life please do it and a compassionate caring way

  11. If the general population were to witness the Horror a Animal endures in the process of Death by gassing it would haunt them to their own dying day for its Cruel way The Reality is that It often takes 2 or 3 times because these barbaric death units are so inefficient and Leak They are Risky for shelter workers and neigboring buildings safety _Who ever thinks their is anything humane about this way is mentally devoid of understanding_not to Mention the Fear is so intense in animals that have died vefore that the moment you place an animal in one the terror of the countless others is immediately felt _I have seen them with 2 layers of death inside as with Puppies and kittens these disgusting hell boxes so do not ever call them humane manyone who operates and uses this is a sadistic torture lover and cares nothing for humane nor the suffering these animals endure beyond your most terrifying nightmare many animals will attack each other as they suffocate slowly gasping for air blood and foamy saliva coming up from as others clamber on top of one another ri reach the seal where air is leaking from seals that are worn they are Bombs in your neighborhoods and everyday persons operate these dangerous obsolete unitswhy not just give shelter workers a hand grenade and hope they make it out-the leaks over a period of time cause Health concerns to all wotking where these units are inplace _The Poster Dog Black Labrador Zumi in N.C survived 3 runs and just last year they laid him to rest he endured 3 full unit runs of gas and survived efficient is a LIE Humane is a Bigger LIE and to continue to use this method is careless ignorant disregard,and nothing short of that_I cannot in my days on this earth understand how anyone could be so ignorant a to swallow the claims of this as a humane or ethical solution to any problem it is adding a sadistic effect upon a barbaric torture device that was never intended to be kind but a added twist of Cain not just death but a slow death and a Painfully excruciating death with intense apprehension that is fully involved in the process all for the viewers Eyes to remove any doubt anout my worfs as Absolute verifiable TRUTH! I do not think of people who turn on these units as truly human in side their Conscience has left them completely anyone who could do this for a living could strangle a human or animal by their hands with more MERCY and I say Human or animal because anyone who did this repeatedly could Kill you or I and Feel Absolutely no inhibition or remorse while doing so THAT is a TRUTH! I KNOW not SPECULATE UPON Ladies and gentlemen!

  12. Get rid of the gas chamber Ohio representatives and senators!!
    Do you want VOTES? Then get rid of it! Pets don’t vote but pet owners do!! And pet owners WILL remember who was for the gas chamber. It’s horrific.

    Representative Leland is a good man. he will have the votes and support of taxpayers.

  13. Please do what is right and not what is the least expensive; compassion for those that humans have already failed.

  14. This barbaric practice needs to end. These poor animals have already been through Hell. At least give them a peaceful death.

  15. I’m sorry, but death is death. Though I agree the gas chamber is horrific, so is our killing of millions of adoptable pets each year who were abandoned through no fault of their own by uncommitted families who cited lame excuses like “moving” or “allergies” or “grew too big” or “is to active.” REALLY? Civilized countries, especially in Europe, have banned the killing of shelter pets altogether! The very name “shelter” indicates a place of refuge and of second chances. We have made them ‘death rows’ . Amend the bill to make your state NO KILL! Do the right thing.

  16. It is NOT HUMANE to gas an animal
    The government wont do it to sicko people who molest kids and serial killers yet it’s done to an animal
    Makes no sense

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