Euthanasia Guidelines: The Gas Chamber Debate

Now that the 2013 edition of the AVMA Guidelines for the Euthanasia of Animals has been issued, the debate over the use of gas chambers for euthanasia of unwanted dogs and cats in animal shelters is likely to take center stage once again.

In previous editions of the guidelines, the use of carbon monoxide (CO) or carbon dioxide (CO2) gas was considered ‘acceptable’ for euthanasia of dogs and cats. In the 2013 Guidelines, the classification for use of these gases has been changed to ‘acceptable with conditions’.  Techniques that are ‘acceptable with conditions’ may have greater potential for operator error or safety hazard, are not well documented in the scientific literature, or may require a secondary method to ensure death.  The use of these techniques requires that specific conditions be met to ensure that death is achieved in a humane way. When ALL of the conditions are met, ‘acceptable with conditions’ methods are equivalent to ‘acceptable’ methods. And, if all conditions are not met, they are not considered ‘acceptable.’

This means that the use of CO or CO2 for euthanasia of dogs and cats is ONLY considered acceptable when ALL of the following criteria are met. For more details, consult the full Guidelines.

  1. Personnel must be instructed thoroughly in the gas’s use and must understand its hazards and limitations;
  2. The gas source and chamber must be located in a well-ventilated environment, preferably out-of-doors;
  3. The gas must be supplied in a precisely regulated and purified form without contaminants or adulterants, typically from a commercially supplied cylinder or tank;
  4. The gas flow rate must allow operators to achieve known and appropriate gas concentrations within the recommended time;
  5. The chamber must be of the highest-quality construction and should allow for separation of individual animals. If animals need to be combined, they should be of the same species, and, if needed, restrained or separated so that they will not hurt themselves or others. Chambers should not be overloaded and need to be kept clean to minimize odors that might distress animals that are subsequently euthanized;
  6. The chamber must be well lighted and must allow personnel to directly observe the animals;
  7. If the chamber is inside a room, monitors must be placed in the room to warn personnel of hazardous concentrations of gas; and
  8. It is essential that the gas and the chamber be used in compliance with state and federal occupational health and safety regulations.

In the 2013 Guidelines, euthanasia by intravenous injection of an approved euthanasia agent remains the preferred method for euthanasia of dogs, cats, and other small companion animals. Gas chambers are not recommended for routine euthanasia of cats and dogs in shelters and animal control operations. The guidelines state that “alternate methods with fewer conditions and disadvantages are recommended for companion animals where feasible.”

We understand that some people believe these chambers should be banned for use for dogs and cats. Unfortunately, there are still shelters and animal control operations that do not have access to controlled substances and/or the personnel authorized by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to administer them.  This limits these facilities’ options for euthanizing animals. If your local shelter or animal control operation uses a gas chamber to euthanize dogs and cats and you strongly believe its use should be discontinued, we recommend you work with the facility to develop a realistic plan to phase out the use of the chamber. Reducing the population of unwanted animals reduces the number of animals that may need to be euthanized, so efforts to reduce pet relinquishments and increase adoptions are the best long-term solutions.

192 thoughts on “Euthanasia Guidelines: The Gas Chamber Debate

  1. Euthanasia means a “good death” – free of pain, stress, and fear. Unfortunately fear is almost always present in a kill shelter so almost none can say they practice euthanasia.

  2. There seems to be much agreement against gas chambers for cats and dogs. The AVMA guidelines deal with many other animals. Small animals, that cannot be put down intravenously because their veins are so small, nuisance animals such as skunks and foxes- even marine animals. People looking to kill animals who have been injured and are suffering, to kill ones that threaten a population they are trying to protect, and to kill animals that can be safely fed to a pet read these guidelines and recommendations.

    I have read comments that NO animal should die in a gas chamber. A lovely sentiment, but is it practical to think that way when you have an injured animal on your hands, or you are wanting to prekill mice or rats for your pet snake, or your dog just broke a rabbit’s back legs?

    Maybe no shelter animal should die in a chamber. But maybe no animal should have to go to a shelter in the first place. Maybe people should accommodate animals instead asking animals to accommodate us. Maybe, just maybe, people need to be realistic about how big the problem is. And that’s just the problem for shelters. You still have the need to humanely kill farm animals for human consumption, and catch and release of wild, nuisance animals is not always wise or humane.

    I have read about the process of killing with gas and how it compares to other killing methods. From what I have read, there are times when transporting an animal, or waiting for help to come, is not practical. Such as when someone hired to take care of a nuisance animal needs to dispatch what’s been trapped, or when an animal is sick or injured. Making a more humane method more widely available is not practical either. By that I mean, you don’t want just anyone to be able to do lethal injections in the field. The best method- controlled substances cannot be handled by just anyone.

    So non-vets look at AVMA guidelines to help them evaluate the alternative methods of killing that are much more readily suggested on sites that are dealing with controlling feral cats or putting down injured rabbits. I looked at what was being recommended in 2000. I applaud the AVMA for at least discussing the scientific research regarding a wide range of killing methods, and for providing sane information on why certain methods are more humane than others.

    Vets should use the most humane method available to them. Should they be asked to help shelters kill healthy animals by lethal injection? That is what it comes down to if gas chambers are ruled out- all other things being equal. Maybe that’s not always realistic, or fair to the vet . The reality is people with less training than a vet, are sometimes called on to kill animals. Whether it is to prevent the spread of disease associated with overcrowding at shelters, to put down animals that are sick because of disease or injury, or many other reasons.

    Maybe we would rather not know how animals are killed. Maybe it is a case of too much information. Maybe people are guided by a fear that people will use the information, but apply it inhumanely.

    I would hate to see a rabid fox have to go through the stress of transport, just for someone to inject poison on a pole, when the cage could be dropped in a gas chamber and other in minutes- with the use of the guidelines to do it gradually and with as little trauma to the animal as possible. And I wouldn’t want a healthy cat killed by any means, but it should be done as humanely as possible.

    There are ways to make the chamber less awful. Small pet owners with ailing critters may prefer the at home kits toted on the internet. Its possible to use a mask and hold the pet, or put the whole cage in a chamber. In some circumstances it seems it can truly be done mercifully- as long as low doses let the animal pass out before it panics from the lack of oxygen, before the killing dose is added.

    Does that mean gas chambers good for cats and dogs? Old ones definitely are not. Not sure about the new ones. Certainly better than death by starvation on the streets.

    • Tina, I don’t know how you bumped your head so hard but Not one animal should ever be killed in any type of gas chamber. SMH you obviously do not know enough about the subject because your reply was so far fetched. Get educated, go watch the terror, the pain, the screams of these inoccent animals as they gasp for their last breath. Where is your humanity in thinking gassing ANY animal is ok? If you need further correct information please let someone more knowledgeable than yourself to help you better understand the “last gasp”!

      • Okay, many gas chambers use carbon monoxide, so there would BE no last gasp. One wouldn’t feel short of breath or unable to breathe, but instead just fall asleep and then die. That’s why carbon monoxide is so dangerous in homes, because it cannot be detected by the nose alone. Gassing is humane when done properly, and much more accessible to shelters and organizations strapped for funds and volunteers. Many shelters would go under if gas euthanasia were outlawed, and there would be fewer shelters available to take stray or unwanted animals. They can only take so many.

  3. This is so inhuman ,they would not put murders or rapist in there and they did something aweful these animals did nothing wrong accept being homeless or a POS owner didn’t want anymore for some lame ass excuse

  4. Euthanasia means a “good death” – free of fear, stress,and pain. It is often incorrectly used to mean killing an animal.
    Most high-kill shelter animals, therefore, do not undergo “euthanasia” – when a shelter kills many animals in one day, the dogs or cats pick up on the body language of those doing the killing and quickly realize what is in store for them. Everyone balks at the door of the killing room, shelter employees have testified. Shelter volunteers often say the climate of fear is very high.

    As for those who condemn kill shelters, it would really be good if they would first criticize those who are responsible for having their pets wind up in a shelter in the first place – they are the ones primarily to blame. A lot of shelters do not have the time or staff to look for homes for their animals. Usually they rely upon volunteers to do this for them. Shelter policies are made by local government and that is where people should address their concerns.

  5. There shouldn’t be a debate over banning gas chambers they should just be banned no debate about it cats and dogs are being killed by these death tanks everyday it is not right we are there voices if we don’t say anything who will it makes me so sick when people say God bless America God is not going to bless something that is full of sin and killing animals like this is murder let’s not let another cat or dog be killed like this again.

  6. REALLY? Vets who CARE voting in FAVOR of gas chambers? You sick so and so’s; this one beats all. Politics may be politics but are you nuts running with a PR disaster like this? I’ve gone alternative meds. AVMA can kiss my dog’s tuckus.

    • I managed a shelter in Nanaimo B.C. for the SPCA from 1985-1994. We were killing cats in a Co2 chamber for the first couple of years I was there. Despite the gas being heated & humidified it was still a horrible death. I convinced the Nanaimo vets (approx 8) to euthanise the cats by lethal injection for $5 per head. The vets did thids on a rotasing basis. A month at a time. Some vets preferred to come to the shelter, some had us bring the cats & kittens to them.All ethical vets all over the U.S. should be willing to support their local shelter/animal control.As many posts have said if you don’t you are heartless monsters. For God’s sake this is the 21st century, can we not progress?

    • Really? Imagine that. People who ACTUALLY KNOW WHAT THEY’RE TALKING ABOUT disagreeing with you. Well, they must be wrong. That’s the only explanation.

  7. I am constantly disappointed by these so called Animal Shelters !! They are no more sheltering these poor animals than if they were roaming the streets ! Keeping animals for 5-7 days isn’t good enough , it takes much longer to home them and they deserve to be given as many chances as it takes to find the right family … They certainly do NOT deserve to be put in a gas chamber and gassed to death .. To make way for other animals and so on and so on , so that you just kill or murder any and all animals that come through these facilities if they are not lucky enough to be adopted in those few days !!!! These animals have feelings just like you or I and also rights .. They have the right to live just like you and your family and me and mine !! … This killing is wrong in so many ways , and gassing is barbaric , and if it’s true about some dogs being used as target practice … Then shame shame shame on you the morons that practice this !!!!!!
    This whole system has to change , and animals need to be protected , this after all is what a good shelter does , it takes care of the animals until they are homed !!

  8. I have spent the past horu or so going through all the comments. I have to say that SOOO many people on here don’t even realize that so many of the MYTHS you are spouting and just that…myths.

    We do NOT have a pet overpopulation problem…and sorry but spay/neuter does NOT solve ANY problems in sheltering. Just Google “Mandatory Spay/Neuter” and see all the locations where laws have been put in place for mandatory spay & neuter and how those laws still FAILED to keep down the population of unwanted animals. Also we’ve already debunked the “overpopulation” myths. Check out Nathan Winograd and the YesBiscuit blog to see this!!!!

    This is what is boils down to….shelters are in place to protect animals without owners. Doesn’t matter if an animal is picked up off the street OR relinquished by an owner that can no longer care for said animal. A shelter is there just for those reasons. They are there to be a temp home to provide SHELTER, FOOD, WATER, and MEDICAL CARE until a new home can be found for each animal. Too many shelters are being run backwards and instead act as a temp holding facility for pets until someone adopts them or they are killed at the shelter. Problem is shelters are NOT doing their jobs.

    Instead of ACTIVELY trying to place animals many shelters are just killing and killing and killing. We have tons of resources available to help people locate pets for adoption…shelters aren’t using them. Or shelters try to hand pick which animals get priority for adoption and the rest get left behind closed doors to wait out the hold period and then be it by injection or gas (which is so inhumane!)…if they are lucky! I have heard of “shelters” where the Good Old Boys in charge have used the animals for target practice! Shelters that do not vaccinated upon intake and then when they have any type of outbreak they kill ALL the animals in the shelter! And it can get even worse than that!

    We have a PROVEN method to fix our shelters…the No Kill Equation! This addresses ALL areas of sheltering and how to SUCCESSFULLY turn ANY shelter around from a killing machine to an up-to-date ADOPTION CENTER! Instead of just fighting to get rid of gas chambers…FIGHT TO SAVE ALL HEALTHY TREATABLE ANIMALS! Fight to get rid of the dark ages shelter directors and replace them with people that actually care about animals and WILL do what it takes to find homes for each & every animal in the shelter. NO KILL EQUATION is the ONLY way to fix our shelters….not mandatory spay/neuter…not just getting rid of gas chambers….not just by deciding to use Fatal Plus….ADOPTIONS are the ONLY way to save the animals!

    Shelter directors that refuse to work with the community need to be replaced. The ones spouting off about the “irresponsible public” and “overpopulation” and how the “have to kill” animals for space and try to use them argument about “when’s the last time YOU helped in the shelter” argument….they live in the dark ages of sheltering. Everyone had their own niche…some shelter, some rescue, some can take pictures, some can host adoption events, some can run legs in a transport, some can Facebook, some can write legislators, we ALL can do SOMETHING! There IS a better way…..research it, then form a group and go after YOUR local shelter. Demand change. Do NOT accept any less than what the animals deserve. The AVMA can not change things. They won’t change things. And they are NOT the ones to complain to about this….Yes it sucks that they are willing to endorse gas chambers in ANY way….I wish they wouldn’t…but since they do it’s now up to US to push for the changes our shelters NEED!


    • Using these repulsive gas chambers to kill companion animals demonstrates the lack of human decency in these people involved in this heinous crime and how morally reprehensible they are! Such indefensible hypocrisy by the USA is incomprehensible considering the ethnicity of senior politicians at all levels of government!
      There is no doubt corruption at all level of government has allowed overbreeding especially in the filthy puppy mills resulting in massive overpopulation of companion animals who these very people find it fit kill in these sickening inhumane gas chambers! The USA have an obligation to take care of every homeless companion animal because they are there from systematic failure in the breeding and rearing pet industry and lack of enforcing mandatory desexing of all pets. You have given people the freedom to do manage their pets without any policies, regulations, laws etc so humans as they are will not use their initiatives to do the right thing.

      • Anne – while I am sure your heart is in the right place you can STOP YOUR TROLLING. You fail to offer ANY meaningful advice on ANYTHING other than to lament the use of gas chambers….which has already been addressed by yourself hundred of time on this thread alone!

        Overpopulation – A MYTH

        Puppy Mill – An animals rights activist/killing shelter enabler “speak” that is BS. There is NO true definition of a “puppy mill” other than what AR folks have coined on their own. Instead of trolling through this thread why don’t you get off your butt and actually DO something like contact YOUR LOCAL SHLETER and make sure they aren’t using a gas chamber…write to congressmen about it…..lobby to make the changes. STOP the TROLLING and START the ACTION!

        • Anon, I am not surprised that you are ANON! You obviously don’t have the courage or guts to publish your true identity for obvious reasons! !The truth obviously annoys you, hit the right guilty nerve and makes you so uncomfortable that you dare to complain about my continued disgust of your abhorrent gas chambers for killing innocent dogs and cats. I am guessing that you must own a number of those despicable filthy puppy mills churning out hundreds of sick animals who obviously are unwanted so they end up in these sickening cruel gas chambers! Hence your annoyance, disgust and rage at my repeated condemnation of the morally disgraceful use of Gas Chambers to kill companion animals who I am here to speak up for and I will continue to condemn these killings in the most brutal ways until you and those who obviously like to kill innocent animals end your sickening killing of animals in these repulsive killing machines! Is this clear now? So here you have it, you can complain as much as you want. And please have the courtesy to use your own identity!

          • Having worked in an animal shelter, I can assure you, pet overpopulation is not a myth. There are more animals produced then their are available homes for them. Mandatory spay and neuter programs have been proven to reduce the amount of animals entering shelters, and amount of animals unwanted animals euthanized. Spay and neuter is a extremely important tool to reduce pet over population and the statistics support this, Gas chamber is an outdated and inhumane practice that should be a thing of the past.

      • Anne Grice –
        I fail to see WHY you respond to my comment with repetitive thing that have absolutely NOTHING to do with what I have said. I do not operate a shelter – nor do I operate a gas chamber. I operate a private rescue from my home.

        You speak of government corruption…what of corruption within our SHELTERS?

        You said: “The USA have an obligation to take care of every homeless companion animal because they are there from systematic failure in the breeding and rearing pet industry and lack of enforcing mandatory desexing of all pets. You have given people the freedom to do manage their pets without any policies, regulations, laws etc so humans as they are will not use their initiatives to do the right thing.”

        First of all – where do you find your information? A systematic failure in the breeding and rearing pet industry??? Seriously? EVERY single breeder I know is hands down one of the finest examples of what animal husbandry SHOULD look like! These people feed their animals better than most people feed their children.

        Secondly – enforcing mandatory desexing of pets? I highly suggest you do a Google search on cities/counties that have implemented mandatory spay/neuter laws because they claimed that it would lower the rate of shelter intakes. ALL FAILED to do so.

        Thirdly – I have failed to do NOTHING. I am NOT the one you need to be arguing with. I am not the one spouting off with outdated thoughts/myths/ideas. Welcome to the 21st century. We do NOT have a pet overpopulation problem. That myth has been debunked. Mandatory S/N does NOT work to control population.

        In fact we have areas in the USA where the pet population is so low that we actually have SHELTERS bringing dogs in from across the border to accomodate people’s desire to adopt a family pet. We have shelter transports that bring “highly” desired dogs from the south to the north in order to fulfill the ‘need’ if you will of people who want to adopt a pet.

        The amount of time you are spending sitting at your computer spouting off to anyone & everyone that places a comment on here would be better served at actually writing to actualy shelters & the governments above them to get them to shut down the gas chambers instead of responding to what I write with the same thing you have said over and over again.

        • Erica/ Anon I am happy to repeat as many times as it takes to highlight the inaccuracies, denials and absolute disgust of your perceived truth about the overpopulation of companion animals in the USA! Over 4 million innocent cats and dogs are euthanased in shelters annually across the USA? Some of them are killed in the most disgusting inhumane methods which no decent human can tolerate! The existence of the hundreds of disgusting puppy mills are also non existent in your mind! Desexing pets according to your opinion is also obviously not a responsible action that pet owners should take to control overpopulation and prevent abandoning of helpless animals! So your perceived version of the truth can be yours and yours alone and you are welcomed to it but please stop trying to convince me of your distorted opinion. I am not interested in your opinions so don’t want to any more explanation!

          • Anne –
            Just keep drinking the kool aid from the AR groups….you fail to see the truth if it stares you in the face.


        • Erica,
          I would like to remind you that Cats and dogs were not domesticated to live most if not all of their lives in WELL MANAGED SOPHISTICATED SHELTERS which you spend your time promoting to be the best place for them! The more shelters you build and manage,as proud as you are of shelters, the more the money grabbing unscrupulous companion animal breeders and obscene puppy mills operators will have available to fill with their unwanted helpless animals! You are simply permitting breeders to keep on overbreeding animals! You simply can’t accept that overbreeding is the reason why shelters are overflowing hence the sickening euthanasia rates the millions annually demanding these more barbaric GAS CHAMBERS which this debate is about. Domestic animals in shelters are killed because they were born and abandoned! Shelters are no places for companion animals to spend their lives , they belong in homes as they were meant to be but unfortunately people like you cant comprehend that pertinent fact! Yes you are obviously proud of your well managed shelter but don’t you see that if breeding and selling of companion animals so easily in pet shops, over the internet, in back yards, etc would reduce the availability pets to uncaring people ? Animals are not lifeless products to be sold like goods in shops etc!. Breeding of animals must be controlled in a more responsible manner to reduce their numbers so that people who really care about pets and want them for the right reasons would rescue those in shelters! Its incomprehensible and absurd that your thousands of shelters are overflowing, and over 4 million cats and dogs are euthanased annually some in these vile gas chambers and over breeding is allowed to continue uncontrollable! Just look at these numbers and see how disgusting and unhealthy the pet industry is and will continue as long as people like you continue to deny the underpinning issue causing this sickness in the industry. Please have some compassion for the animals that are living in some hell holes that you call shelters because of lack of funds and compassion. Educate the breeders please and stop blaming other shelters for not doing what you think they should be doing, You simply have too many animals in the shelters thus devaluing their lives to the point where they are euthansed! Stop the overbreeding and let the shelter animals find homes please!

          • Anne –
            You simply amaze me. First of all – the No Kill Equation is NOT about animals living their lives in a shelter…it is about FINDING THEM HOMES! Maybe you would do well to actually research something you obviously know nothing about. Secondly – It’s not about “can’t accept that overbreeding” – that is YOUR opinion NOT FACT! Animals being killed at shelters is due to those in charge of the shelters NOT doing their jobs. Period. Plain & simple. Cut & dry. I have done my research. I KNOW the facts. And I stand behind what I say 1000%…and that is not a typo! Say what you want. I am done wasting my time trying to make you understand that you are obviously too well versed by PETA or HSUS to get your head out of the sand and realize that this is 2013 and things don’t have to be the way they are.

            Enjoy your tirade…I am DONE responding to you. You don’t want to research & just spout off of MYTHS. Enjoy yourself. In fact knock yourself out…….and we’ll leave it at that. Good day.

    • The arguments for the gas chamber are ridiculous. Texas no longer uses them and I am proud that it is my state. The excuse of some shelters not having access to EBI is ridiculous. One of the largest animal welfare groups in the country offers many shelters grants to train people in EBI and get them access to the drugs. If you can get your hands on gas cannisters, you can get your hand on the injectable drugs. Otherwise, all the vets in that area would not be able to humanely euthanize animals in their offices. And if they are not intelligent enough to figure out a way, do you really think they are going to make sure each animal is separated and watch each animal for the amount of time it takes them to die? No, in many shelters, (and this has been proven and recorded), they are all thrown in together until there is absolutely no more room in the box), they turn on the box and walk away. Nice that you advocate this, huh? And I thought growing up that vets were the people who really cared about animals and would treat them with more compassion than other people! And for those saying it can’t be changed, there are too many animals to save, I say, think again. I live in an area that has many No Kill shelters now. These are open admission, public shelters. Yes, it is hard work and takes community involvement, but it can be done. We have some rural No Kill shelters and some city ones, and it takes lots of media exposure, foster homes, and shelter employees who want it to work. But it DOES work.

      • Patti –
        I DO NOT ADVOCATE THE USE OF GAS CHAMBERS…..I am simply amazed that people can post to comment WITHOUT bothering to actually READ it FIRST!

        • Erica- its not your fault that these people lack the intelligence to read your posts when its quite clear we are all fighting for the same thing, THE END OF GAS CHAMBERS.

          • Matt –
            Thank you. I was kind of upset when I read that some of these people actually thought I was SUPPORTING gas chambers. They are horrid and I would NEVER in a million years speak up for their use. I would have thought with everything I wrote that people would’ve known that!

    • I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that they don’t outlaw gas chambers. Stupid people never cease to amaze the general public with their ignorance. I completely agree with you Erica. there is a better way, but the problem is greed of the human species which I am constantly reminded why I am ashamed to be part of. Shelters back in the day I can understand, with limited resources and extremely limited contact with the general public. However now there is NO excuse. There is access to so many grants, donors and other resources, plus the outreach to the general public at the click of a mouse. It is going to take people like us, to open the shelters and put the others out of business for good before all this senseless killing stops.

      • You are right Giovanni it IS going to take US – the so called “irresponsible public” to get our shelter system turned around. Sadly. The government offices don’t want to bother, even if they are supposed to oversee the function of it, the directors in many places are running them in a VERY outdated fashion. I am simply amazed that so many shelters have INSTANT access to upload onto PetHarbor with the click of a button and STILL fail to put pets where they can be found. Or a simple things like being open hours when those who actually work & can afford to have a pet would be able to walk through the shelters and adopt. Some really simple things can be changed to fix the problems. It has taken regular citizens to get so many places turned around. Prime example – No Kill Austin. It took citizens of Austin to stand up and say they weren’t putting up with it any longer. They formed a group – petitioned the local government – and worked their butts off. But guess what? Austin has gone No Kill and have maintained that status in the face of nay sayers! It can be done…but it takes people getting off their butts form behind their computers where they sit and spout hate ALL day long to actually make it work. Sadly I see that some of the biggest arguers are too busy posting post after post about how horrid gas chambers are – TO THE WRONG PEOPLE – when they could simply change their focus and use that energy to do good.

    • Thank you Erica!
      For being one of the few willing to publicly support Nathan Winograd’s vision.. which is ultimately common sense put into practice.

      • Melissa-
        I have seen Nathan’s work in action. I TOTALLY support the No Kill Equation and will speak about it every chance I get. I am finding that although the inofrmation is there that we still have so many that don’t even know about it. It’s very sad really when you think about it. A shelter is there to SAVE the animals, not just tally numbers and then kill them. Good to know that there are others doing the same thing! 🙂

      • The harsh reality is that most of what we call shelters are just animal control operations set up by municipalities to keep animals from running at large. They were not set up to protect animals. No Kill works best where you have an educated populace and tax payer money enough to build adequate shelters that really do protect animals – especially from the thoughtless “owners” who dump their trusting pets.

  9. The gas chamber has been banned as a means to put humans to death because it was too inhumane. Our most heinous serial killers must be put to death humanely. Why should innocent animals suffer such a fate? And we must stop using the term “euthanize” when we are talking about putting innocent animals to death. It is killing, plain and simple. “Euthanize” means “good death.” There is nothing good about killing a healthy animal, but putting that animal to death in such a torturous manner should be criminal.

  10. Unfortunately most of the facilities still using this barbaric and inhumane procedure will continue to shove as many animals as possible in to this horror. As to correctly trained personel, how many shelters hire and train staff to use them correctly. It has been shown time and again how widely abused gas chambers are.

    • Thankfully animal-loving citizens, NOT THE AVMA, are pressuring lawmakers to ban the use of gas chambers. When this barbaric use of killing is finally eliminated, it will be those of us in rescue, fostering, all walks of volunteers, NOT THE ANIMAL PROFESSIONALS who will celebrate sweet victory. SHAME on the AVMA for not being the voice for companion animals. It is time for those within the AVMA who abhor gas chambers to challenge those who find the gassing acceptable. STAND UP for the animals you committed your profession to help. The animals need your voice!

      • I agree, we as people with human decency must continue to condemn these evil repulsive people and their equally despicable machines for what will always be regarded as human ultimate betrayal and evil against helpless innocent beings. Its on the back of these same defenceless beings that Veterinarians and others with a vested interest in companion animals, have built their wealth and careers on and this is how they choose to repay these animals. There is nothing more sinful than putting helpless dogs and cats into these vile machines and doing what they do to them! How can these cold blooded heartless people live with this evil crime and go back to their clinics and say that they are looking after your pets, I would never understand! The one thing that the administrations and government of the USA has always been superb at, is to adopt the worst possible heinous forms of killing and inflicting suffering to animals! They do this to every animal on their country and they are so proud of this sickening achievement! To adopt these heinous killing chambers for helpless animals is a testament to they type of people they are underneath that false facade of trying to tell the world that they are the best leaders and all that crap. But your actions tell the truth about your evil, vile inner core of what you is really you. These elected representatives should hang their heads in shame and utter disgrace to allow these vile machines to be used on American soil. Depicts the evil calibre of these “politicians”. Canada should have known better than to follow the evil steps of these politicians with no human decency of the USA. Shameful, disgraceful and pure evil.

        • You are absolutely right on all counts. Vets are good people when our pets are sick, but they need to speak up for this horrible cruelty and be a driving force for the voiceless. I cannot imagine how anyone who operates one of these gas chambers can sleep at night. I read somewhere that a local news station filmed this and put it on the evening news. You can imagine the outrage of phone calls that came into that shelter demanding an end to the gas chambers. They were successful …. power of the media and citizens. Wish more media coverage would expose this holocaust. I still think this should be a requirement for anyone looking to get a breeders’ licence …. see what happens to the ones who don’t measure up to standards!

    • Your comments are right on Kelli. Nowhere in the AVMA guidlines does it state that CO2 must be heated & humidified & the chamber pre-loaded before cats are put in. Even then it is still not a humane death. How veterinarians can turn their back on the suffering of unwanted pets is beyond belief!! They are trained in the method & have access to the drug. For a minimal fee they could perform this service, either at the shelter or pound or the animals could be taken to their clinic.Many years ago (22) I convinced approx 7’/8 vets in Nanaimo euthanise the SPCA’s pets. They organised a rota (taking turns for a month). Some came to the shelter & some wanted pets brought to their clinic. They charged $5 each.The CO2 chamber is a horrific way to die. Can you vets, who make your living off pets, really not step up. You should be ashamed. I hope you can’t sleep at night.

  11. There is nothing more disgusting, inhumane, unethical than what the AVMA is condoning. Your professionals make their filthy wealth on the backbone of these very animals who you are so happy to kill in your vile gas chambers. If your organisation has an ounce of human decency you would have pushed to close down all the filthy puppy and c t farms over past decades and control overbreeding which has caused this massive overpopulation of animals. But some of you probable own these very sickening puppy farms so why would have bother to campaign to close them down. But no without any conscience, human decency you have encourages the vile governments across the USA to build and kill animals in these despicable gas chambers. Every good deed which you do for an animal for which charge a pocket full of money, is overshadowed by your lack of compassion, ethics or any moral human decency by your support for these gruesome killings of animals from whom you have built your miserable wealth from, It is shameful, disgraceful and lack of human decency.

    • no more gas chambers you people, it is ANIMAL ABUSE!!! END GAS CHAMBWERS FOR GOOD, NOW!!

  12. I am kinda new at this, but love animals & always have had cats/dogs/birds/rabbits. I do NOT like animal abuse, I am not a bad person, but I think/believe if someone was hurting one of my animals & would not stop, I would KILL them & if it were someones other than mine I would do the same. If the animal is vivicous, that is a different story, but just to abuse an animal for no reason, NO! NO!! & as fae as these wimpy little mayors, judges, fire chief, & other so called public figures who put dogs in jail & then punish them by killing them, is ridiculous….WHY, to me it is so STUPID, waste of tax payers money, there are more important things they can do. Several comments on f/b about certain dogs, the latest was Rufus, thank God he is at home, but what about Jack, Phineas, etc. They did not break the skin, just were startled when a child fell or stripped on them. This world has got its butt in a twist….thanks for letting me vent….what I was going to ask, see several comments about this AMVA killing animals…someone please enlighten me on this….thanks

    • They are not killing animals, they are just not standing up against the use of gas chambers to kill unwanted animals. THAT is their crime. We, as the members of society, have to petition,urge lawmakers, and protest… that gas chamber use be out lawed in all 50 states. Currently just a few that have out lawed them. Write your local,state, and Government on the national level, to express your outrage on the use of this hidious,inhumane weapon of destruction for companion animals whose only crime is that they have no home or family. Usually some piece of s&^%! owner surrendered the animal that they no longer wanted, or let them loose on the street so they would not have to face shelter workers or pay surrender fee, and they get picked up as a stray. The outcome is the same….no room, so they are killed. Don’t let the fancy word “euthanasia’ fool you, which means to humanely end the life and suffering of a living being that is sick or injured with no chance of recovery. These are healthy, often young, animals that are homeless and there is no room for them all. Sign every petition that you can find to protest gas chamber use…and while you’re at it……get in on legislation for mandatory spay/neuter for ALL pets. THIS and only this can help end all the unwanted animals in the first place. And the issue of how to “dispose” of them would be a NON ISSUE!!

      • thanks, just have heard so many bad things about several agencies, just don’t know who to believe. I have written, email, signed petitons to gov., state officials, senators, & whoever I can find in the state of SC. Don’t know how much good it’s doing, but I keep trying for the animals.

  13. ****Unfortunately, there are still shelters and animal control operations that do not have access to controlled substances and/or the personnel authorized by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to administer them. This limits these facilities’ options for euthanizing animals.

    My question is why don’t they do something, fund raisers, help from other shelters to find out how they can raise money, there are answers out there, just have to some research…not having access to controlled substances.. .to me this is not an answer, so what good are they, if they can not treat these animals that have to be put down humanely, gas chambers are not, so why do have a shelter if they can not operate correctly. Puzzles me!

  14. This is horrible… all the ways we treat animals, including allowing them to overbreed (and ourselves as well) are barbaric. Let’s outlaw gas chambers for all beings, and try to learn to treat other living things with some decency.

  15. NO Animal should be tortured for anything. Not Meats, Animal Testing or anything else even if it is Animal fighting. They should not

  16. I have followed every comment & reply on here, there is so much emotion. Excellent points from good people. A gas chamber debate page! Mmmm … Do the AVMA even read what is being put out here? Never mind answer any one! Or is it like putting all the naughty kids together to keep them out of your hair?

    • Chrissy…We have reviewed all of the comments and have responded when we believed it was appropriate. We know there are strong emotions about this issue, as demonstrated by the comments. We provided our position on the use of the chambers in the blog entry and have responded with additional information to assist in explaining the AVMA’s position and role. The experts comprising the Panel on Euthanasia and its Working Groups were aware of and discussed all of the concerns and considerations that have been brought up thus far when they developed the guidelines.

      • Well I am glad the AVMA is discussing the “emotions”. The facts are you give guidelines that are not followed. One animal a session would be a miracle. Most shelters throw in as many as they can! Andif the animals don’t die the first time they go through the horror again! Small puppies are put on top of already dogs to be gassed so their fear doubles. Your private new Chamber is NOT how it is done in Shelters, when are you going to understand as long as you say it is okay it will continue? You are not putting a task force together to police the shelters so they continue to ABUSE the system! All because you said it is acceptable. Now how doyou address that?

      • A group that should support our pets with or without homes have really let them down. Gas chambers are NEVER acceptable. Saddened, disappointed, and outraged!

  17. Pingback: My Search for the Truth About Gas Chambers. | Dream Big, Bark Loudly

  18. WHY is there even a DEBATE on using gas chambers???? Are we living in the days of HITLER still?? STOP USING GAS CHAMBERS THEY ARE IN HUMANE AND TORTUROUS!!!!!!!!! END OF DISCUSSION! There is NOTHING to debate, JUST STOP!

    • I totally agree, this is 2013 a.d., not 2013 B.C….we are all animals & we, humans, have been told we have the higher IQ….duh???? WHERE did it go….Animal Abusers are vile, mean, no morals, cowards/bullies, disgrace to the Human race, no mentally of any kind & should be outlawed & banned from the human race! I have no sympathy for these kinds of so called people. Horrid, unthinkable, embiles walking around breathing my air & of the sweet animals.

      • Persistent cruelty and brutality to companion animals is the consequence of systemic failure by elected representatives to conform to simple dignity decency and rights of animals. Lacks of enforceable controls in animal breeding on a monumental and unacceptable scale have devalued the lives of companion animals across this country. Innocent animals are now being treated like rubbish in the eyes of the law in this super nation to be discarded like rubbish in an incinerator!

        Killing healthy companion animals in abhorrent gas chambers must be heavily criticized as “Hitlarist” and must be treated as the same contemptuous deranged practice inflicted in the most vile regime in modern civilization. The sick use of gas chambers to kill what is deemed to be politicians’ disgraceful mistakes in this country demonstrates the USA’s profound disrespect for life in its most vulnerable form of innocent defenseless animals!

        Irrespective of the economic hardships, which this was not because these symbols of deep hate has been in use for many years before any financial hardships, these killing machines should have never been built. The people who devised this method of killing can only be described as sick, mentally defective, evil, despicable and full of hate.

        The rapidly growing fierce condemnation by decent, humane people with integrity should demonstrate to the users of gas chambers that this vile practice as much as your employees may enjoy using them is no longer acceptable in our society. This message is unambiguously clear, unlike most of your animal breeding and animal protection laws. We will no longer tolerate the use of this heinous killing machine and this must be stopped. All use should be cease immediately until the laws to abolish them comes into effect. This is the USA and no “Hitlarist” practices will be allowed to flourish here.

  19. Are we still living in World War 2 times?? How come gassing humans was seen as inhumane but we do it to animals?? It’s not right and it needs to stop completely!!! We need to put an end to breeding-this will lower the over population. Stop waiting for the problem to happen-prevent it from even occurring in the first place!!

  20. The only difference between the USA and the vile sick regime who committed this very abhorrent heinous crimes against humanity during years of this world’s most dark sinister past is that American Politicians are such cowards that they choose to inflict such abhorrence on innocent, helpless voiceless animals because of their systematic failures to legislate appropriately , control, monitor and enforce these effectively. There is no animal welfare organisations powerful enough to stand up for animals and prevent politicians from committing this inhumane atrocities! In the end, you are no better than the vile regime with demented leaders who were born with no human decency in their hearts or souls! This is a disgrace and must be condemned strongly because unlike the victims of a demented leader, companion animals have decent people who will do their best without hindrance to stop you from persecuting and killing innocent animals for your failures to do your paid jobs.

  21. The only reason I have seen for stopping short of NOT ACCEPTABLE is that in some areas there is no direct licensing in place so shelters can not obtain the drugs need for EBI .. Now surely that is not the AVMAs problem any more than enforcing the conditions is? If the area’s euthanasia method is determined by the guidelines they would have to sort it out & as for going back to drowning, shooting etc I assume they are against the guidelines as well!!!!
    So Why stop short? Every big org’ ASPCA – HSUS etc has publicly come out against gassing & it is more than clear just from this debate what the public want, so WHY?

    You say advocates should approach the individual shelters .. Really? … Have you ever tried that? Our group has .. dozens of them .. half the time they will not even say what method they use & many even lie!
    PLEASE – the conditions will not change things – make gas chambers NOT ACCEPTABLE – It wont fix everything but it will help & it would put you on the right side of the fence as far as public opinion is concerned!

      • I regret having to make a vile referral as abhorrent and despicable as what you are doing to innocent healthy animals because of politician’s failure to shut down illegal filthy puppy mills, backyard breeders etc resulting in massive overpopulation and equally massive killing of innocent animals in gas chambers!

        Which part of that forbidden emblem representing that sick repulsive regime which killed millions of innocent people in gas chambers because of deep hatred doesn’t the USA like, thus making it illegal to make reference to it?
        Because, what this country have been doing with its reprehensible gas chambers – killing innocent healthy animals is as vile, sick, ruthless as what that vile regime did with its gas chambers. This makes both the USA and that vile regime equal in its hatred, inhumanity and sickening killing of the innocent beings! There is no difference, this is hypocrisy in its highest manifestations. This is shameful, disgraceful and politicians should have nothing to be proud of.

  22. Some people should not be allowed to have dogs. Strict requirements must be implemented for any person buying a dog. Tougher laws on dog and pet ownership is mandatory across the USA to stop animals suffering at the hands of neglectful selfish ignorant pet owners. Dogs are the most abused companion animals on this planet and yet authorities fail them so badly by allowing anyone to buy a dog. Laws requiring mandatory spaying/neutering, pet insurance, animal registration and proof of suitable accommodation are just a few requirements for anyone buying a dog or cat. The USA’s lack of regulations and laws in pet ownership have resulted in millions of healthy animals being killed including gassed to death each year. The ongoing suffering of dogs as they are tied up in deep muddy pools for 10 years, tied up in the cold winters outside, kept on chains etc etc is frankly disgusting and reckless as authorities demonstrates profound lack of concern for animal welfare in this country. This is a compelling sickening issue which demands urgent recognition by politicians and law makers to make the desperately needed changes to improve animal welfare. Peoples’ freedom with no RESPONSIBILITIES has been at the expenses of suffering of companion animals for decades and legislation recognition is demanded. Band aid solutions to this serious situation of animal cruelty will not solve this problem. definitive decent action is now demanded by all stakeholders of companion animals and by legislators. Its time to act please have a conscience instead of a monetary focus!

  23. no creature in the world deserve to be gased . Who in the world give us called humans to treat animals like garbage

  24. What a rotten way to die. These people that make these laws should be the ones to do the killing, and see just what goes on, all they do is sit on their fat butts and do nothing.

    • Totally agree, just sitting on their booty waiting on that fat paycheck, while we are trying to save GOD’s sweet animals….so glad there is a judgement day!!

    • They say gassing innocent living creature is slipping away into a deep sleep without pain, (they must think we are stupid) well why don’t the association people who are authorizing the gassing try it themselves. They are choking, fightened, terrified, crammed up all together, and its a slow death, and it takes a while for them to pass away. Its down to the Dollar Money as its cheaper to kill in larger numbers, and by using gas, then do it in a humane way, the USA is quick enough to point the finger at other countries on ‘humanties’ but just look at what they are doing biggest ‘ toothface’ ever’ I just hope one day it will be the animals turn to push that gas switch, when the humans are in the gas chambers, and that day will be soon by how the worlds going!!!!

      • They do not “slip away painlessly” they scream and howl and cry in pain and terror, as they gasp for air and their mucous membranes burn and hurt as they defecate and urinate on themselves and each other…….SOUND LIKE A PEACEFUL DEATH? WISE THE F$%K UP AMERICA!

    • both my grand parents died in a gaz chamber during last world war 2 & just the name gaz chamber shouldn’t exist anymore even for animals, it should be ban for ever!
      every country should control birth of animals by forcing owners to neutered their pets before 6 months & puppy farm shouldn’t be allowed to sale puppies who are not neutered,it will reduce animal suffering & cost less than paying for a gaz chamber!
      when are we going to be responsible humans ?

      • Welcome to the USA, where affairs such as this are ruled by the almighty dollar, not the heart or conscience…..yes it is pitiful. I am often ashamed to be American…AND human.

          • I am compelled to say this because of my deep love and respect for all animal beings. it was a very dark day for dogs and cats when humans decided to domesticate them for their own selfish reasons. Since then our precious loving canine and feline beings have suffered unimaginable harrowing merciless cruelty at the hands of the vile abhorrent human beings in ways that no decent human being like most of us could ever imagine. These humans who have no remorse, dignity or basic human emotions have inflicted the most unforgivable acts of cruelty and killing that is so unconscionable and difficult to contemplate.

            Since domestication, Dogs and Cats have have paid the ultimate sacrifice with their lives daily as humans find more and more despicable ways to kill them culminating to these vile grotesque “hitlarist” killing machines.

            The people who deserved to be killed for their grotesque crimes in these equally grotesque killing machines are foremost the evil sick ones who give the permission and those who built them, the greedy repulsive companion animal breeders- legal and illegal ones, the people who sell animals, some of your psychos working in the animal shelters and indeed your elected representatives who approve the use of this vile machines. This is fitting for them.

            I wish that the the AVMA had more steely determination and equally steely backbone to stand up for the beings on whose back they have decent careers, high standards of living, fancy material things etc etc. But no, you persecute and kill so mercilessly the very beings who allow you to feed and clothe yourselves. This is not justice, not decency and certainly the members of the AVMA should never feel justified to call themselves Doctors because you are anything but persons who are there for the rights and dignity of your patients.

            This whole situation is so sickening, heartless, unconscionable and brutally cruel that humans really does not deserve the love and affection which only companion animals can give them because they surely will never get such love and compassion from fellow vile humans.


  25. No animal should be subjected to the gas chamber. This is a very cruel method of euthanizing animals, and the AVMA should be taking the lead in abolishing their use. Unfortunately, the AVMA is a large interest group whose primary mission is ensuring the continued monetary profits for veterinary services, rather than the actual welfare of the animals.

    • EUTHANASIA is not the correct term…by definition it means “easy death” because it is supposed to be like easing into sleep, as in lethal injection. The reason is also no correct. To EUTHANIZE is, by definition, is to end the suffering of a living being that is suffering from illness,injury and pain with no chance for recovery. Killing young, healthy,adoptable animals because they have no current home is just murder and totally unacceptable BY any MEANS. PERIOD!!

      • well said janice……i totally agree with you. there is a huge difference in humane euthanasia and murdering by gassing. i just dont understand why people wont spay/neuter their pets to help prevent overpopulation!! just spend the one time fee people and get it done!! we have 7 happy dogs here that have all been fixed, and 2 horses that are geldings (neutered males). do you have any idea how many lives you would be saving if you got your pets fixed?! why will people spend hundreds of dollars going shopping, or buying some sports items or having their nails done every 2 weeks, but wont spend a couple hundred dollars for the welfare of not only their pet but future pets to come. reducing the population would end the need to kill any animal in pounds……i dont like the word shelter because it is not a place for shelter and safety, it is more like a prison camp. i really hope people wisen up and see that humans are the problem, and can also be the solution for too many pets.

  26. i do wish to see the chambers stopped, well the killing of animals in general to stop.

    • I think that gassing poor animals is discusting and I do not know how anyone ith a heart could do it to an animal.I guess it is anouther case where it is not OK to do it to people ut it is OK to do it to animals.

  27. Please stop this macabre treatment of any animals. We are responsible for their life and death.

    • These “powers that be” in the AVMA are completely missing the points of our comments. They think that the animals will not suffer if their wonderful guidelines are followed. I don’t think that is the case at all. Being forced to breath poisonous gases is inhumane … what part of that don’t they understand! Animals are living creatures that God put on earth for us to protect and care for! I like and trust our vet, but I’m beginning to question whether some of them are really in it because they care for animals or is money the real motive. Some of these people need to stick their heads in the chamber as it is being exhumed and smell this stuff. Then come back and tell us it is a humane way to die. Death should not be a solution … stop killing them and let the breeders see how fast the excess dogs and cats fill up in shelters, make them witness the gassing, and then if they are still so heartless and think adding more animals to the problem is the right thing to do ….. Karma is waiting for them.

      • YOU ARE SO RIGHT YOU SAID THE PERFECT WORDS> I cant believe that this is even an option. The killing of animals needs to stop asap. We are here for them to care for them NOT TO KILL THEM !!!

  28. There is nothing more abhorrent than killing innocent animals in gas chambers. How was this heinous killing machine allowed in the USA in the first place? There is no humanity in humans because this is not what humanity is about. The person or persons who adopted Gas chambers in the USA has got to be heartless, merciless sick evil persons that this world does not need. Breeders who bred animals to such large scale overpopulation and filled their filthy pockets are the reasons why these animals have to suffer so much now. Its sickening to watch politicians /leaders allow such massive uncontrolled over breeding of companion animals enriching their cronies most likely then to turn and kill the very animals in gas chambers and other means! This is not justice, this is repulsive politics to the lowest standard with the stench of dead animals in a gas chamber. This whole political system is morbid and reeks of gross system failures and injustices to companion animals. I hope that the decent human beings in all these red states stand with your heads high and denounce this barbaric death instrument. You are kind people so please put an end to this morbid sick practice, there is no place for Gas Chambers in any decent society.

    • I am sick of this! No animal deserves this. The politicians had better start listening to those of us who vote. The goverment needs to make it a law that unless you are a certified breeder that your pets be spayed or nuetered. If people do not get this done then put them in jail and fine them substantially. How can anyone think it is ok to kill our companion animals. Last I checked we are not a third world country. Yet with behaviour like this we seem like we are. I for one have had enough of this. Change it or get voted out of office! Adopt a shelter pet they are the best pets ever.

      • Innocent Dogs and cats killed in gas chambers across the USA because of systematic failures at all level of governments and animal welfare to do their jobs effectively has got to be the most disgraceful and unjust act on this Planet!

        Greedy Puppy mills owners and animal breeders, pet shops and negligent irresponsible ignorant companion animal owners compounded by ineffective leadership by politicians, law makers and animal welfare society have resulted in millions of innocent animals having to be killed in gas chambers across the USA!! Is this justice, or does this represent a civilized country in the 21st century!

        In view of multiple regulatory failures, the states and governments have an obligation and a duty of care to all animals in shelters and other facilities to maintain and support them for the rest of their natural lives. Killing healthy animals and walking away from your failures is unacceptable under any animal protection laws in the developed world. Failures from Animal welfare code of practice for breeding dogs and cats, to Animal welfare code of practice for selling animals to pet ownership rights and responsibilities!

        If it was compulsory for all stakeholders in companion animals, governments and shelters to support and provide for all sheltered animals for the rest of their natural lives ,then this would give them the determined incentives to legislate, monitor and enforce responsible animal welfare codes of practice and control pet ownership

  29. la chambre à gaz ? je n’y crois pas ! comment en est-on arrivé là alors que cette horreur rappelle les camps de concentration !!! quelle régression ! c’est une solution de facilité et c’est honteux.

  30. These so called humans who run AVMA are the most inhumane people. Don’t use gas chambers, that is ABUSE, which is not the humane way. These are GOD’s animals, first, & HE put them here for us to enjoy & take care of. Not to murder, torture,abuse,reseach. Get your heads out of your booty, stand up for the animals, not KILL them. It’s NOT their fault, we humans do not have them spay/neuter, BUT they pay for it with their lives. Money in the pocket is not right & judgement day YOU will know money is not right or the answer. GOD BLESS those sweet animals who have suffered by the hand of idiot humans with NO conscience.

    • The HVMA – Tainted Ethics! No other way to describe this organisation that survives solely on the backs of animals in their daily practices then to turn on them in the most horrific, heinous vile way to kill them in a gas chamber for God’s sake! Who are these people, these animals have provided them with a high standard of living, supported all their sick entertainments, pay for their posh motor vehicles, holidays, provide food for them etc etc only to find the most brutal sick gas chambers to end their lives. This is such a sickening injustice on a monumental scale and you should hang your heads in shame and disgrace, No doubt some of you have your own filthy puppy mills that you operate and sell animals from. Judging by your despicable standards you most likely use these dogs on dog fights as well. You are not humans in this sickening organisations, you are despicable selfish loathsome people who got your qualifications in questionable ways no doubt.

      • First,what is HVMA? Second, I thought maybe someone was going to discuss the issue of euthanizing thousands of unwanted animals each year. What is cheaper? Gas, injection, bullet? What is the fastest, most reliable method which causes the least stress on the animals? What does the livestock industry do? Start discussing the issue like you have a brain and a heart.
        Unfortunately, most of you just need a hug.

        • YES, those of us that are are on here DO need a hug because we are here protesting and mourning over the inhumane deaths of thousands of healthy animals, by a most horrific method….gassing. AND i would prefer to hug those animals.

        • Should be AVMA !
          People’s evil killing against innocent defenceless animals! This is like adults attacking a day care centre with weapons! See how vile and repulsive this situation is!
          You are obviously one of those sickening individual who enjoys watching innocent animals struggle to die while you are high on your drugs or whatever you take to live your vile sickening life! Your statement describes exactly the type of heartless repulsive person you are. Its uneducated beings like you who have contributed to this sickening situation which this country finds itself in . People against defenceless innocent animals- thats the sickening reality of this brutal vile situation. Its no different to adults killing toddlers in a day care centre!

          Its people with your sick mentality who enjoyed your lives by overbreeding companion animals for decades without any decent government control then invests money to kill them! This industry has been badly mismanaged by people who are supposedly educated and then turn to killing in such violent sickening ways. Where is the conscience of the people who are supposed to be running this country? Obviously its people like yourself without a brain who have caused so much misery to animals in this country, The USA fought against the very use of gas chambers only to adopt the very vile sick method to use against innocent animals who the states have allowed to be born! How does the people who the USA fought for feel about Gas Chambers being used? Such hypocrisy! People like you are so selfish and doesn’t care a dam about the innocent animals which you have all benefited from in your wretched lives. I guess you probably run a few filthy puppy mills and entertain yourself at the sickening dog fights!

          • So you need some friends without fur and a hug too I see. Do you really equate killing dogs and cats to killing children in a daycare? All your hand wrenching and cursing the “evil-doers” does nothing to solve the problem of what to do with unwanted animals. There may be better ways than gas, but I haven’t heard a plan to deal with it from anyone here. Just a lot of bleeding hearts crying out at some invisible “they” who needs to stop doing this. Have you ever been to an animal shelter? They are so over-crowded and no end in sight. And breeders aren’t the problem . There would have to be a “puppy mill” on every corner to fill the shelters like they are. You don’t see a bunch of pure breed dogs at the shelter. Just a bunch of mutts who someone quit caring for or the stray cats that breed endlessly and are rounded up by animal control. So is it cheaper to house them on the outside chance they are adopted or to put them down? I understand not wanting them to suffer, but unless someone on this thread is using an alias and is really Warren Buffet, then cost is the biggest consideration. And as for education, you resorted to calling me names because you exhausted your intellect. So I will ask you again. What do you propose? Put up or shut -up. What does the poor dog catcher in South Detroit do with 100 dogs and one kennel and no access to an auto-injector and a gallon of pentobarbital? The city is bankrupt. The state is nearly the same. Look at the humane society shelters around the country. There are a bunch of people who love animals and that is why they work there. What do they do if funding is so tight they can barely afford food, housing and medicine for 30 animals but 5 or 10 new ones arrive daily? What is the cost of 20 doses of pentobarbital as opposed to carbon monoxide? Again, it will always come back to cost until the numbers of unwanted animals decreases drastically.

        • Yes Brent we all could use a hug, especially the sweet animals who have suffered at human hands. At the prospect of gas, injection, or bullet, well that is the 64,000 dollar question. First gas is suffering & abuse, injection is passable, AS long as the correct dose is given so the animal would not suffer during dying, & the bullet, fast, quick…..humans shoot humans all the time, so guess that might be an answer, if humans do it, it’s ok, right? The government, states, counties need some education on this matter, so I write to my state, counties, & governor about animal abuse as well as other animal lovers. It has worked in a lot of states, but not in all. Stricter laws, punishment is needed, not a slap on the hand. I wish I could wringle my nose & fix the whole problem, but that is not possible. I don’t agree with all you said, but we are voicing, complaining, trying in all diffferent ways to getting the word out that “ANIMAL ABUSE” IS wrong!!!! It is wrong the way farm animals that are bred, gestration crates, the way these animals are slaughtered & the way some of the meat from them is processed into human food, the killing & torture for fun, sport. I realized hunters like to hunt, but it has got nowadays ridiculous, hunting for food is one thing, but just to shoot & kill something??? well as I said before, humans shoot humans, so why not animals even for fun!! Is that what it takes to be a REAL MAN sport! This like yours is my opinion & all I can say is I am working on the problem the best I know how in my state. We have got to get an answer & do something about it. It does help me to be able to voice, complain, whatever here on this site to help in any way for the sweet animals. GOD made them, GOD made us humans, we are all HIS Animals!

    • I am totally confused. What is “”AVMA & HVMA””????? I am totally against any type of animals abuse, including the gas chamber. These are living breathing creatures created by GOD, & I know HE is not happy at those who murder, kill, torture & abuse these animals for the ever loving dollar $$$$$. This type of organization that runs itself on the back of killing animals is horrid & very inhumane, & MUST be STOPPED!! Money will not get you everything & killing animals for money is so wrong. Who??, Where are these people who runs & are in charge of these types of killing facilities???, who appointed them & keeps them in their postion???, WHO do we contact to get reasonable humans to check these people out, I WANT TO KNOW!! I want to know all information on these organizations, for this has gone on too long & MUST be stopped. Killing is killing, murder is murder, torture is torture, abuse is abuse…& those who do this, whether a company, organization, employees, officials of such ORGANIZATIONS, are & should be accountable for doing & caring out these crimes & PUNISHED to the fullest of the law. ANIMALS &/OR HUMANS!!!!!!

      • The AVMA; American Veterinary Medical Association, is not the target RE: animal gas chambers. Governments, local and state, have the authority and responsibility to make illegal gas chambers for killing companion animals. Some states have outlawed them, but not enough…. which would be ALL…..Having said that, the AVMA, has issued guidelines and limitations for their use. The uproar is because we would expect that any Veterinarian worth their license would be against such horrific methods of killing animals and would not participate in compiling “GUIDELINES” for using such unhumane,barbaric ways to kill animals such as gassing. It is an atrocity pure and simple. Hell shall meet those involved.

    • People are so cruel. I love animals so much. We are supposed to care for them not hurt them.If I had a farm I would take in all the homeless hurt and abused dogs cats and all other animals. My heart aches for those animals abused and put to death by gas. Those sick son of bitches who said its humane well maybe we should put them in a gas chamber just for a few minutes and then see how they feel. God Bless all those poor animals. They are now with God where they are happy and free and will never suffer again.

      • I hope that decent people with integrity stand up and make their feelings known to their political representatives in very strong unambiguous language that vile gas chambers are not for innocent animals who are here because of gross system failures by government at all levels in every office of this land! Complacency with this ruthless decision is not acceptable, people must show their outrage and demand that all gas chambers be demolished immediately.

        Politicians do not have the right to be in these offices, they have to be elected so make these votes count! If Politicians did your jobs proficiently with integrity and respect for the people you were elected to serve and demonstrate professionalism when dealing with animal welfare issues, you would not have had to build these reprehensible killing machines! Your lack of abilities to enforce decent legislation, prosecute illegal filthy puppy mills owners and regulate registered breeders, abolish all sales of companion animals in shops, on line etc has now brought this country to a state of contempt in the eyes of all decent human beings and other civilised nations!

  31. Please find a better way to do this. If adoption was more affordable more dogs & cats would be adopted. Please work on this instead of killing them. Surely they are worth the effort to a solution!

    • It’s not just the adoption price. It’s total medical care as well. More & more people are giving up their elderly dogs because they can’t afford the medicine & medical care. Just to take an animal to the vet to be put down is more than the cost of adoption. Some dogs are being abandoned on the street to manage on their own because of the cost of veterinary costs.
      If I can ever win a lottery, I want the majority of the money to go to spay/neuter animals & put a dent in the homeless animal population. It would be done fro free or low cost so EVERYONE can afford it. Also, breeders should be put out of business. Not legitimate breeders, but those types who are breeding animal indisriminately. That would help this problem immensely.

      • If one has to give up a pet, dog or cat, take it to a No Kill shelter.
        Our shelter requires one to have a pet spayed or neutered when adopted.

  32. Dr Golab for all the talk of who is responsible for enforcement of these conditions, with respect I believe you are fully aware that they are not enforced.
    I am aware that you all produce these guidelines for veterinarians not the public & within this circle I’m sure the guidelines are valid & well thought out indeed I doubt there are many chambers in veterinarians surgeries!
    Also no, you are not a lawmaking body However your guidelines do influence lawmakers.
    Given those things should the decision to leave gas chambers as acceptable be made with a little less scientific consideration & a lot more leaning toward Doing the right thing?

      • no human or animal should be subject to a gas chamber! it must be BANNED!!!! there are other means to adopt and save animals, lots of people want them,for a loving companion. BAN this cruel inhuman torture chamber!!!

    • I could see sending rapists and scum like this to that kind of gas chamber, but certainly not animals

      Thanks CA Haas

  33. I have used a CO2 gas chamber to kill animals. It is not humane – period. Also the above instructions do not tell you that the gas should be passed through warm water, so it is heated & humidified. It is particularly hard on cats who have very sensitive mucous membranes. I have put my head in that chamber & could not keep it in there for more than 2 seconds! It feels like someone gripping the insides of your nose with pliers or pincers. I operated this machine as a volunteer shelter manager in Nanaimo B.C. From 1985 to 1988. I invited 8 vets to watch cats die in the bos. Only 3 came but all agreed to take it in turns to euthanise them for $5 a head.

    • Having someone experience what this horrible gas chambers feels like as you breath the fumes should be proof enough that this is totally inhumane! What is the next step? Who do we write to? Ideas anyone??

      • That is a good question .. I have a facebook page & a web site fighting this every day Take Action Help Ban Animal Gas Chambers on face book there are links there to site which is full of addresses etc to write to. As to what we can do here GREAT question … a debate after the fact is somewhat redundant Id have thought … The AVMA have made their decisions that wont change!

    • I was horrified that you stuck your head in there, and couldn’t take it for 2 seconds. Doesn’t that experience tell you something of the agony these poor animals endure as they fight to live? I was further horrified, to read that 3 vets agreed to do the gassing, at $5 a head! How sickening the value on the life of an innocent animal, but then from what I’ve read recently, B.C. has little regard for wildlife as well. British Columbia is always a place I wanted to visit. Rich and wildlife and nature, it’s now tainted as a “killing” land, where homeless animals have a small bounty of $5, and the murder of the wildlife for big fees and licenses for the “big white hunter” trophies, is rampant throughout the land. I’d never step foot on your land now, and think of B.C. as a land of barbaric souls that are forever lost to the pits of hell.

      • Hi Linda
        You have totally misunderstood my comments. I invited approx 8 vets in Nanaimo B.C. to view cats dying in the gas chamber. Only 3 vets had the courage to come & watch, but they were horrified & persuaded all the other vets to agree to euthanise any animal by normal injection at $5 a head. The gas machine went to the dump.
        In 1994 I moved to Powell River, B.C. & found the City of Powell River using a gas machine. I persuaded them to stop doing that & all animals here have been euthanised by a vet for the City & the B.C. SPCA. There are no gas machines in any B.C. SPCA shelter. There is a private (business) operator on Vancouver Island still using a gas machine.

        • Hi Audrey,
          Could you tell me where on Vancouver Island- we are trying to get a list together of Gas Chambers in Canada. And Thank you for getting those barbaric things disposed of from the other two shelters.

          • Hi Lisa as far as I know the two gas chambers are run by Coastal Animal Services. They provide animal control on a contract basis for the City of Nanaimo & also somewhere in the Cowichan Valley Maybe the town of Duncan?
            You can e-mail me any time at
            Cheers Audrey

  34. The use of gas chambers is a horrific, barbaric method of ending a life and it has absolutely no place in a civilized society. It amazes me that this is still an issue to be debated. Animals who have found themselves homeless through no fault of their own deserve better than this. This cruel method of ending a life does not need to be debated, it needs to be stopped. Now. Everywhere. Totally unacceptable.

  35. If you absolutely have to put down an animal they shouldn’t suffer much if at all. The chamber is animal cruelty for the sake of convenience no matter how I look at it.

  36. When dogs and cats are surviving being put in these gas one and two times is it not clear that it is not the best way to euthanize? When they are seen gasping for air is it not clear that it is not the best way to euthanize? Especially when there are alternatives there is no reason to be using gas chambers in this day and age. The AVMA should speak out against them in its role as advocates for health care for animals. It is disgusting enough that so many healthy animals are euthanized for lack of decent homes through no fault of their own and because of human ignorance and negligence, but the lease we can provide for them is a peaceful passing. The AVMA could play a key role in making this happen. In my view it is shameful that you don’t step up and do so.

  37. If we consider gassing unwanted and unloved animals humane why do we consider it inhumane to do it to our unwanted and unloved humans, you know the ones who murder, rape and torture other humans. Here in Australia we consider it inhumane to kill these ‘humans’ by any method and yet we continue to condone the murder of innocent animals. Fortunately for most of our animals, gas chambers are few and far between and no self respecting veterinarian here would condone the use of one.

    Most vets are genuine in their desire to provide the best possible care for all animals, even in death, however the number of people who become vets for the money that can be made is growing, and these are the same people who have the ambition to become the decision makers. They don’t truly care about any animal and so become ‘pencil pushers’ instead. This is detrimental to the welfare of all animals.

    PLEASE don’t support any vet who condones gassing as an acceptable method of euthanasia. Hit them where it hurts them the most, in the pocket. If their profits fall long enough gas chambers will become a thing of the past.

  38. I do not agree with using the gas chamber under any Circumstance! It Is INHUMANE any way you look at it! no more excuses, if you think it is so great you and all the people who want to continue using them need to get in the gas chamber yourself and see and feel what it is like Please be my guest ! then tell me its still ok! NOT!!! what goes around comes around ! I don’t wish this INHUMANE TREATMENT on any one or any thing, but if you think it is the right way to Kill innocent animals Then you shouldn’t have a problem with my suggestion!

    • The Nazi’s used gas chambers on humans, by allowing shelters to use gas chambers on animals your doing the wrong thing! It’s in humane! You people should be ashamed of yourselves! I’m disgusted by your lack of concern for how animals are killed! I hope your conscience doesn’t let you eat, sleep or enjoy your lives knowing your supporting intolerable cruelty! Shame! Shame! Shame! One day it may be you who suffers!

  39. This people that kill any type of animal should not be call them self HUMANS not even animals. One day they all will answer for their actions.

  40. Do not under any circumstance follow these guidelines- whoever is the ridicous author of this misguided list of instructions is completely asleep and does not – at all- understand what horror he/she is allowing for. Do no more harm. Respect life even when you are ending it. Tortue chambers are simply unacceptable- DO NOT EVER COMPLY!! Follow a higher guideline, you know in your heart this is wrong. Do not follow these guidelines- do not use it as an excuse to allow for Gas Chambers another day. Do not follow to save a lousy buck. DO NOT PUT A NOTHER LIVING CREATURE IN A DAMN GAS CHAMBER!! Then drop to your knees and beg forgiveness for all the previous souls you tortued in there. Would be willing to put a fellow man or an innocent child in one- didnt think so- then you have no doubt that it is tortue. “I HOLD THE MORE HELPLESS A CREATURE, THE MORE ENTITLED IT IS BY PROTECTION BY MAN FROM THE CRUETLY OF THE AVMA!” Gandhi

    Stop this maddness!! You know better- do better. Make the change- change this for all time. Have courage, you know its the right thing to do.

    • The problem is that these are not guidelines for individuals .. State laws are made around these guidelines! Because the AVMA call them acceptable Gas Chambers will continue to be used & animals will continue to suffer!

      • The problem is that the AVMA is not a governmental lawmaking body, they do not have any authority to change the laws regarding gas chamber use. The laws that have outlawed their use were made at a state level. I have read the full 50 state list of the methods of “euthanasia” used by each state. Fortunately, most states have already outlawed their use and they have been dismantled. There are,however,about 5 states that still use them because they were not proclaimed illegal. The AVMA is passing the buck because of this and claiming that their job was just to write the guidelines on gas chamber use. I say that vets should not even be involved in any inhumane form of ending animals lives, and instead of writing on HOW to use them, should be getting together to ban their use countrywide. We all know that the term euthanasia is not applicable to killing healthy,young, adoptable animals. THAT is murder, no matter which method is used to carry it out.

        • I am sorry but there are a lot more than 5 states still gassing, I am counting 16 with a further 9 unknown. No the AVMA is not a law making body. There guidelines however are used by law making bodies to justify the use of gas chambers & he AVMA are well aware of that, I believe this should have factored into their decision making when revising these guidelines.

    • I agree, and I wish that those who are giving their instructions would stop and accept that such abhorrent killings of innocent animals, who are the product of the systems’ overall failure to control companion animal breeding for decades, is a gross injustice to animals in the most vile shocking manner!

  41. People who use these horror chambers will always say they are “veterinarian-approved” whether they adhere to the guidelines or not. Just because the guidelines are not followed makes no difference….the general public and elected officials will never see beyond those two words. You should simply say that it is not an approved way, because you know your guidelines are not followed, thus take away one piece of ammunition from those who don’t care enough to find out the rest of your prerequisites and have never witnessed the use of one.

  42. This is horrifying and the entire AVMA should be ashamed. In no way is using a gas chamber to euthanize animals humane. It was never humane and never will be humane. Even if all of your guidelines were followed, having to restrain animals so ” they do not hurt themselves or others” clearly shows this method as inhumane, and a terribly painful and frightening way to die. We no longer us gas chambers when criminals are sentenced to death because we consider it inhumane. Why would it be considered anything different when being used on animals?? The AVMA needs to do its job and be the voice for animals. It seems you have lost your voice on this issue. Appalling, just appalling.

  43. I have to shake my head in Total disappointment. There is NO ONE to enforce the ” Guidelines” and never has been. That is exactly why Animal Advocates are up in arms against the AVMA. If these Shelters were willing to work with the general public, there would be no problems. They not only don’t work with us, they ignore us with fervor! So I would appreciate an education on how to reach these facilities and get the guidelines in their face to follow them!

  44. AVMA : You considered the matter for 3 years
    You decided that gas chambers can still be used to kill dogs and cats
    We now know everything we need to know about you.

  45. If vets really cared about helping the pet overpopulation problem, they would make spaying and neutering more affordable.

    • Many do provide low-cost or free spay/neuter and more should. How much does it actually cost? Any vets care to answer? I know there are all kinds of cost- college, electric, staff, etc. but how much does each surgery actually cost (with wages?)

      If we want animals euthanized “humanely” we who want it are going to have to pay for it because it is very expensive when you are talking thousands of unwanted animals. Why aren’t we passing laws requiring spaying/neutering? Forget puppy mills, most of the extras come from people who don’t fix their own pets. Let’s fight to change things, not just bitch about the killing.

      • I live in Virginia, and around here vets charge $200-300 for spay or neutering. There are low cost clinics that charge under $100, but there are not many of those clinics. The vets that will do it at a lower cost are the real heroes. In a struggling economy, having your pet altered is not high on the expense account unfortunately. While I agree that we as the citizens who are paying for killing animals in shelters and should do more, please remember that the focus of these discussions and comments is the gas chambers …. need to stop using them … period!

        • My point exactly. How much does it actually cost the vet to do it? I know how much we pay, and I have no problem with vets making a living, even a good living, but wouldn’t it make sense if more of them offered neutering at cost? Just wondering why we don’t have more low cost/free clinics. It has to be cheaper to subsidize sterilization than to pay to “take care of” all the babies, and their babies, and on and on. I have spayed all my pets, but don’t remember how much I paid there. Here in the last 4 years I have sterilized 1 dog for free +1 syringe (about .30 US) and 2 cats for about $8/$9 US + 1 syringe each. I doubt actual costs were much less here than there since electricity here is really expensive and most drugs come from the US. Seems more animal supporters would get on the ball and get spay/neuter laws passed.

        • If anyone can not afford to care for a pet, which INCLUDES spay/neuter, then they can not afford to OWN a pet. spaying and/or neutering your animal not only prevents unwanted litters, it also prevents unneccessary health issues as the pet ages. What would this pet owner that can not afford a spay/neuter do if their pet gets sick and requires treatment or surgery? Let them die because of the “struggling economy”? There is lifetime responsibility to having pets, starting with a spay/neuter. That is why you will never adopt an unaltered pet from a shelter or rescue. Yes, we are talking about the gas chamber issue, but it starts with the pet overpopulation issue. In a perfect world, there would be no reason to have to destroy all of these healthy,innocent pets. IF there were not so many without homes…meaning TOO MANY. because of irresponsible breeding, and irresponsible owners. And lets not forget the scum that surrender their pets because they are old. WOULD YOU DO THAT TO YOUR PARENT? Well, I say shame on the powers that allowed gas chamber execution to remain in effect.
          It can not be called “euthanasia’ because euthanasia by definition is the humane ending of life to end suffering. Gas chamber deaths are torture and horrific and no “guidelines or special criteria” are going to change that. Australia and Europe have banned then….and the US is supposed to be a world leader,providing example to the rest of the world. DISGRACEFUL is all I can say.

  46. What is astounding to me is the obvious moral and ethical violation here by every Veterinarian that sanctioned this measure. All doctors take the Hippocratic Oath: First Do No Harm. How the hell could these ‘doctors’ pretend that this barbaric, torturous and inhumane end-of-life measure was ok? Have any of them actually WATCHED as they died?? I don’t think ANYONE should be able to vote until they have!!! We are ‘supposed to be’ a civilized society. Those who endorsed this are SADISTIC MURDERERS!!! I love watching everyone confuse the issue by throwing in other topics that just do NOT BELONG!! The bottom line here is not about our ‘over population issues’. Nice try. There is NO GOOD OR BAD reason to end ANY LIFE THIS WAY! Period. And you ‘smart people’ who have co-signed this garbage should be ashamed of yourselves! Go and SEE ONE AND LET ME KNO IF YOU DON’T HAVE BETTER IN YOU!! ‘First – and LAST DO NO HARM’! Every death – every cry – is on YOU! You should be ashamed of yourselves. Dr. E. Larson

  47. I am sickened that this report does not condemn the use of gas chambers for dogs and cats. At the very least, there should have been a time table to outlaw the practice. I participate in the TNR program to eliminate unwanted litters of cats and have faciitated the spay/neuter of over 1000 cats. But unfortunately government agencies do not help and organizations such as yours decline to put pressure of the powers that be. My local animal control officers hide behind their desks shuffling papers while volunteers are in their community trapping, transporting and recouping backyard cats. And then they euthanize cats when politicians complain about the nuisance. By showing so little backbone in report, you are sending them the message that this is just A OK. Take the easiest route. Where is the compassion for these animals. You should be the leader in this.

  48. I am a veterinarian. I volunteer at a no-kill shelter and perform all their spays and neuters at no charge. I also work full time in a small animal clinic and provide services for a stray animal facility on a military base. The pet overpopulation problem is STAGGERING. My local shelter averages five new animals PER DAY. No one thinks gas chambers are a good idea. But in some locations, the only fate for unwanted animals is a crappy death or a long, miserable, horrible, crappy life. If you hate gas chambers, (and I do as well,) help find the solutions!!

    • Dr Beismer– A wholehearted agreement. I think we all agree that killing animals solely because no one wants them is bad, even if by injection, BUT leaving millions of unwanted pets to fend for themselves is worse. Why are unneutered animals even legal? If you want to stop the gassing you must fight the problem which is more unwanted, abandoned pets than could possibly ever be taken care of. If you don’t spay/neuter your pet, you are the problem. I don’t care how cute they are, we don’t need their babies; I don’t care how well you care for them and check potential buyers, we don’t need your babies; I don’t care how pure their blood is, we don’t need your babies. It is this stupidity that leads to millions of animals being killed every year with millions more dying slowly in the streets or being shot by idiots.


      • AV/Ma at work. Really? What kind of inhumane people continue to allow gassing? I’m no expert but I love all animals and do my part with spay/neuter and I believe there has got to be a better way.

    • EXCUSE ME, BUT IT SHOULD NOT BE UP TO CITIZENS TO “WORK WITH SHELTERS, AND FIGURE OUT A SOLUTION TO THE PET OVERPOPULATION PROBLEM”. If they really wanted to, the government could enact legislation and enforce it as they do other laws. AS IN BSL AND BREED RESTRICTIONS….THEY KNOW HOW TO KNOCK ON YOUR DOOR AND SEIZE YOUR PET THAT THEY DECIDED WAS OUTLAWED. AND WASTE TAX MONEY AND JUDGES TIME IN COURT PROCEEDINGS TO ORDER THE DEATH OF AN ANIMAL THAT THEY DEEMED DANGEROUS. WISE THE F$%^ UP AMERICA!!! Local government should use some of the allocated money for city and/or municipality shelters to purchase the meds for injection euthanasia( NOT THAT I AGREE WITH THIS EITHER) for a humane,if neccessary, procedure. This SO CALLED guideline is sickening. and it comes down to not having the money to use more humane methods, and ban the gas chambers alltogether. But pay the court staff a gazillion dollars to participate in these hate campaigns to put down peoples pets cause they wagged their tail wrong. The vets that participated in these guidelines should definately be ashamed.

    • Thank you, Dr. Beismer. We agree–this problem is huge, complex and incredibly frustrating. And, like you, we would love to see the energy, time and commitment to this cause directed in a positive direction to make a real difference.

      There are multiple things that can be done to improve the situation for animals in these facilities. The first is to ensure that the facilitites that currently need to use gas chambers have the appropriately designed and maintained equipment and well-trained employees to deliver a humane death. If that cannot be accomplished in a cooperative way, in many cases there will be legal requirements to comply with humane guidelines and regulatory enforcement efforts can then be pursued. A second approach is to help these shelters gain access to other, preferred methods of euthanasia, such as euthanasia by injection. That requires not only trained personnel, but also access to controlled substances, so both will need to be addressed in order to move in that direction. And, of course, the third approach (to which you alluded in your post) is to work on the front end of the problem by reducing relinquishments to shelters. That includes not only population control through responsible approaches to breeding and spay/neuter, but also dealing with behavioral and other issues that are major reasons that animals are given up to shelters. The latter effort is something that everyone should be able to get behind.

      • Firstly whoever said it should not be up to citizens to sort out this mess~ WHY THE HELL NOT? They made the mess, it wasn’t a bunch of Vets that went off & allowed thousands of unwanted puppies & kittens to be born & the AVMA did not suddenly think it could earn a quick buck if it went into the breeding business. Take responsibility people!
        That said, I’m sorry Dr Golab but I can not support the new guidelines at all I think they are a huge missed opportunity to make a big difference for the better. As Ive said over & over again the conditions you have put on the use of the chambers will make no difference at all in the majority of shelters, the fact they remain acceptable ensures they will be used as they have been with no regard for the conditions or the suffering they cause. Those with an axe to grind will still hide behind the guidelines because they still justify use! As you no doubt think the way the AVMA has dealt with this is good enough perhaps you can tell me how this will be policed? Who will enforce these conditions??? Or will you tell me this is not the job of the AVMA? If so how is it the job of the AVMA to consider the direct licensing situation?
        Im sure that all your deliberations are backed with scientific fact & text book arguments which is all fine good in a pleasentsville laboratory. But in a rural underfunded animal shelter, multiple animals will continue to be shoved into gas chambers to suffer & scream till they die & when they don’t die the first horrific time they will be shoved in again until they do! I’m not saying you could have stopped all this but “unacceptable” would have made a huge difference. In all this is very disappointing & I wonder how, as a vet, you can be proud of the work done here.

        • I also have to wonder what the point of a debate after the fact is? It is very clear that the opinion of a great many animal lovers/advocates/decent, caring people, are of no interest to your intellectual selves, if they were you would have taken note while the guidelines were being drawn up, maybe noticed the petition you were sent – Maybe then there would be no need for a debate now.

      • I’m sorry but the gas chambers used do not comply with these guidelines.. There is no excuse why sodium pentobarbital should not be is much less expensive, and any state that “without access” to this controlled substance, can have the state veterinarian provide this for them…you Dr.s of all people should know this… and read the following if you really believe it is humane, or just decided this because the training and resources needed to revamp the procedure is “too much effort” for people….keep in mind we do this for the animals, so the people in this field can suck it up and change what they are used to, to be able to provide these animals the humane and peaceful end. ( I am one of them)

        Anyone who thinks gassing animals as a form of euthanasia is acceptable and humane, especially people who made the decision for the AVMA regulations to remain as they are, SHOULD witness this process first hand. Then, please, let me know how humane that process is. Many shelter personnel that perform the act are under the impression this is a quick, peaceful death. This is due to the fact that they load a crate of live animals in, close the door, push a button and walk away. When they come back in 45 minutes, all of them are dead, (hopefully). The people who have genuinely witnessed what actually occurs during this process have a VERY different opinion.
        So, what the AVMA board members and anyone included in this decision process SHOULD do, is take a little field trip, visit a facility where EU by gas chamber transpires. It is essential to observe the whole method itself, instead of basing the information on “research”, statistics and reports. To fully understand the impact of this decision, what TRULY unfolds at every individual facility NEEDS to be recognized, not just the information available. Oh, and keep in mind, some states do not require information or any regulations to be provided regarding the actual procedure itself or humane standards of euthanasia.
        While you are reading this, remember that the best definition and reasoning behind EU, and the way it is best put is, “to induce a painless death”. The alternative to chambers, which has been available to us for some time now, is EU by lethal injection. This method is much more personal because staff completes this procedure one on one with the animal. It is also less costly, much less painful and stress reducing for the animals, and is active within 30 seconds to one minute. They peacefully slip into unconsciousness, then pass away in a dimly lit room relaxing environment, with soothing music and staff members affection. When you make it to the bottom of this piece of writing, think about how you feel about the reality of the gas chamber procedure, and the AVMA’s decision that gassing IS indeed a humane method of EU…
        AVMA members involved in the preservation of this method SHOULD watch as the animals are yanked out of their kennels and crammed into the small chamber. They SHOULD remain present after the door is shut and the gas is turned on. (This is the point when most shelter personnel remove themselves from the proximity, giving themselves a false sense of relief, wanting to believe they have provided a “peaceful quiet death” for these creatures.) In reality, this method is truly inhumane, a formidable and barbaric procedure which we should be ashamed to STILL be using when there is a painless, cost effective and an rapidly active alternative available.
        These decision makers, to accurately judge, SHOULD witness the horror and fear in the faces of the animals, viewing through the glass as the suffering begins. The animals realize something is terribly wrong, as the door slams shut, and the gas begins to hiss and shriek. Their lungs begin to fill with poison, every breath teeming with suffering and dread. As they gasp pitifully for air in the stagnant cramped chamber, they begin to choke on their own breath, feeling their lungs weaken and constrict with every passing second; suffocating slowly. They SHOULD hear the screams for help, the cries of agony and pure terror. The illusion of escaping this nightmare slips away as confinement and a slow agonizing death become reality. As they howl in increasing loneliness, terror and despair, they begin to grasp their impending doom; all hope sinking and fading away.
        The seconds feel like an eternity, lungs burning, eyes watering, mind racing, battling for that single breath of air; painfully recognizing this could be their last. Animals crammed into the chamber like sardines, struggling to stay alive, reacting solely on primal instincts. Most fall victim to various grades of fear and panic, their body naturally responding to the fight or flight response. Unfortunately, many become hysterical due to their inability to escape; foaming at the mouth, trembling uncontrollably, vomiting, defecating or urinating, while some even turn to self destructive behaviors. Some become aggressive due to the declining conditions; stress and fear motivating savage attacks upon whomever is physically closest(which could be one of many unlucky animals, considering the amount of animals they jam into the chamber to save “resources”. Others are sick, old or injured, some a combination of all, and cannot defend themselves against the numerous horrors ensuing in the chamber, let alone have the peaceful, quick death completed with the compassion and care they deserve.
        The decision makers SHOULD also behold the permanent claw marks and scratches on the walls, where the animals struggled fiercely trying to escape their cruel fate. They SHOULD consider the blood/urine/feces/vomit covered floor after the bodies are unloaded from the chamber, faces of the animals still contorted in their last valiant gasping for that last breath. They clung to their lives with heroic determination until they could endure no more; such intrepid lives snuffed out, by a method no being should ever encounter.
        There are also other parts that are purposely left out of the procedure description. One of these being the piling and stacking of live animals, to be euthanized, onto dead animals in the chamber, who were just previously euthanized. Does this save time? Money? Resources? There is absolutely no reason or excuse for this behavior, in NO WAY is this permissible. There are quite a few recent videos available documenting this very part of the procedure, smaller and younger dogs, a lot of times puppies, are placed on top of the pile of carcasses from the last batch that was euthanized. This is not only cruel almost a form of torture, but also completely unnecessary. It increases the stress, anxiety, fear etc for these animals, making them witnesses to horrific acts of depravity. No creature should ever have to endure this torture, and at their “best friends” hand no less.
        These are all components that people involved in this decision process SHOULD take into consideration, to understand whether this is a humane method of euthanasia. There is more information involved and available about the truth of death by gassing. Anyone who has the power to make a decision affecting the suffering and death of thousands of lives, SHOULD have the decency to witness this method carried out. This needs to happen to provide them with a sound judgement of what truly goes on, not what they want to believe occurs, or why they don’t want to change the current method(stress on employees). The evidence from the front lines, witnesses and personnel in the field, is truly damning. There should be no need of further proof or argument. But if you need more convincing, I encourage you to research it yourself. Certain states have banned the use of this method, because of its inhumane methods, but others are responsible for executing this procedure DAILY. The general public is not aware of the horrific numbers of animals that die in gas chambers every day. Raising awareness is one thing we can do at this point. Any human, with a soul, who witnesses this process first hand, all the way through, should be affected by it as well as be able to see the inhumane and disturbing qualities

        And by the way, euthanasia comes from the Greek word euthanatos, meaning “good death”. Does what was described above sound like a “good death” to you?

        • Let’s hear from some of the vets who have witnessed the gas chamber doing its horrific work and what they observed the animals doing during their final moments … or are there any vets who have seen it? If not … why not? Same for the legislators who ignore the issue and don’t want to deal with the problem. Seeing is believing!

        • Any state with a death penalty has pentobarbitol. Duh. Seems like this isn’t a financially lucrative topic, so skipping over it was in the best interest of those who wanted to hear how to expand their practices

    • A solution would be the banning of puppy farming. Dogs and cats are being bred by the 1000’s and there is no where near enough loving homes for all these puppies.

      • Not just “farming.” Quit letting owners allow their animals to mate/procreate by the millions. If you want a pet go find one that needs adopting.

    • There is no excuse for making them suffer! We need to get huge groups together, break in and smash the torture chambers!

  49. Pingback: Euthanasia Guidelines: The Gas Chamber Debate | ncshelterrescueinc

  50. Hello? I cannot believe you are trying to “excuse” yourselves for not having the guts to ban gas chambers. Let our local shelters know how we feel? What planet do you live on? We have been doing that for years, they won’t listen. We need to have a National Law to ban these torture chambers! The fact that your report condones them sickens me. “Conditions” my butt! You call yourselves Veternarians?

  51. You know, it’s bad enough I have to worry about what stinkin China is doing, why do I also have to worry about USA. We also have this problem here in Utah, I just pray that all these so-called human in this inhumane world, get a wake-up call in their dreams by the good Lord. Let it be a horrific nightmare about animals….change things, you ignorant people.

  52. i feel as does many millions more , all countries still using this method are no better than hitler was ! these animals are living souls that live and breath ,feel hurt ,pain, love , fear etc in all the same ways that we do , HOW CAN YOU AGREE TO ALLOW THIS KIND OF INHUMANE SUFFERING TO BE USED ON MOSTLY INNOCENT ,UNWANTED UNLOVED DOGS AND OTHER ANIMALS THAT JUST NEED TO BE LOVED AND CARED FOR .BUT INSTEAD THE EASIEST WAY IS TO MURDER THEM IN AN INHUMANE WAY !!!!!!!!!

  53. There is nothing humane about killing innocent animals.Please do the right thing and say that the use of gas chambers is inhumane and an unacceptable means of euthanasia. It’s time that this barbaric practice finally ends!The use of these gassing chambers should be outlawed!

  54. This is cruel and a sickening way to treat any living breathing creature! These poor animals are in such great pain and fighting to get air. The people who do this without guilt will burn for this.

  55. This is like the holocaust. I can’t believe that you would use this inhumane way of killing defenceless animals. Shame on you.

  56. What happened during WWII with the gas chambers was absolutely horrible! The terror and pain those people experienced was unimaginable. That said, why are we even discussing gas chambers over seventy years later? This should not even be an option for “humane euthanasia” It wasn’t okay back then and it will NEVER be okay!!! For people or animals!!

    • Gas chambers are extremely inhumane, especially because they are not used the way the AVMA states they should be used. I am appalled that this barbaric and archaic method of killing is still used in this country! Please reconsider your opinion and guidelines on this subject, and put these torture chambers out of existence.

    • If this is humane, then put the serial killers who are on death row in them instead of the lethal injections. I also support requiring breeders to work in shelters and observe animals being gassed BEFORE they can obtain a license. Breeders are largely responsible for the overpopulation problem, and are the only ones who can do something about it right now …. STOP BREEDING! Let the shelters get control of the problem. Who cares if “champion blood lines” are lost forever? You might as well tell people who to mate with … no imperfect babies in our society … let’s kill all the problem people, homeless, special needs, etc! Get a grip and wake up … we have all tried to convince shelters to stop using the chambers, but unless there is a national law against this, the poor defenseless souls will continue to suffer. There is a special place in hell for those who continue to think this is OK.

      • Absolutely, Jessica….those killers deserve a terrible death as they caused the death of another.. The innocent animals whose only crime is being homeless and unloved, DO NOT. BTW, That special place in hell that you spoke about…I named it the Michael Vick wing.

        • Poor guy … maybe he needs to get a real job instead of making money at the expense of innocent animals. Breeders probably don’t understand that they are contributing to the problem because the surplus is being constantly taken care of. If shelters would stop euthaninzing for a few weeks, breeders and others would see how many extra dogs and cats are out there. Perhaps some would have a change of heart and stop breeding … we can only hope!

          • Overbreeding of companion animals is the sole reason for this sickening situation. The Animal Welfare Code of Practice for Breeding dogs and cats appears to be non existent in the USA as well as no enforceable standards to control breeding! Animals are killed in large numbers in the abhorrent gas chambers because of a monumental failure in the system. Governments have failed in their basic responsibilities to legislate effectively to control animal breeding across the USA. So instead of taking appropriate actions and enforce mandatory codes of conduct for animal breeding like any civilised country would do, they instead invested in numerous gas chambers to kill the products of their failures.
            The politicians have failed on every level in management of the of animal breeding by never passing Enforceable Standards of the Animal Welfare Code Of Practice. Failure to actively close down the hundreds of filthy illegal puppy mills over the decades which flourished at the expense of innocent animals.

            Even registered breeders were obviously not controlled and supervised. No effective recommendations from the AVMA regarding mandatory neutering/spaying to ensure pet owners do the right thing. Pet shop sales flourished from hundred of back yard puppy breeding sales. People buying pets like they were toys or products to use and throw away. No regulations here either.

            I can’t condemn the overarching failures in this country’ sickening mismanagement in their Companion Animal Breeding code of conduct enough and the tone of all my comments is intended to reflect my utmost disgust of this truly sickening situation.

            I wasn’t never aware of these abhorrent gas chambers until recently obviously because the Politicians prefer to keep this vile dark secret away from public scrutiny. I would have never believed that the USA could be so backward and ignorant in management of its companion animals welfare. No other country except Canada appears to share this sick repulsive treatment of innocent animals.
            The USA wants to be recognised as a Super Power. Please consider this ” civilisation is judged by the way it treats its animals” and if you apply this to the USA- well draw your own conclusion as the sickening facts speaks for itself.

            At this late stage of this debate, I believe that all killings of animals by the gas chambers must be abolished immediately if the USA wants to regain any respectability / credibility by the rest of the world. There is a lot at stake here which should make this recommendation effective immediately.
            Legislative recognition is required due to the serious offensive unfair situation here.

            Establish decent animal breeding protocols fundamental to managing companion animal population.

            All killing of innocent animals is unjustified because these animal did not bring themselves here, this is the result of the evil doing of greedy people who profited on the misery of animals
            Greed by humans should never have been accommodated by politicians and other officials. who should have done their job properly over the past decades.
            This sickening reaction by politicians could have been avoided if they were proactive in managing this issue. But it is evidenced that politicians have no desire to end this vicious cycle of breeding, selling and killing of animals by the very fact they chose to spend tax payers money to build “gas chambers”

            I agree wholeheartedly with everyone who has expressed their outrage and have condemned this sickening, abhorrent repulsive killing method. I am so distressed with this situation and have attempted to express my own outrage here so please understand this desperate frustration.

  57. I cannot believe that you would ever have the audacity to support this barbic, inhumane way to kill unwanted animals that have not asked to be placed in the situations and homes that they ended up in. I have 5 rescues and would take so many more if I knew I could provide them the love and care they DESERVE!!! one thing I do know is they do NOT deserve to be killed in such a HORRIFIC and tortuous way. It needs to be banned!!!

  58. There are no exceptions to where this should be acceptable period. Imagine yourself being dragged to your own death in the same environment, how would you feel? It could not be very different than the nazi prison camps where thousand of people were incinerated all shoved into rooms crammed together to be killed. This is unacceptable for humans and what do we then classify animals? They are living , breathing beings with hearts like us, ears, eyes and mouths more advanced than our own! They know things sometimes before we do ourselves, such as storms, earthquakes and they can even tell when people have diseases in their bodies..and yet they have no voice. They live solely off of humans kindness and depend on human beings to be as gentle and loving as they themselves are, poor creatures if they only knew the hardness of most human beings hearts. So how cab these loving feeling beautiful gentle beings be treated in such a cold and unfeeling manner? Dont you think they treasure their lives just as much as you or I do? Maybe even more! You never see drug addicted animals or animals treating humans cruelly unless taught by a human to do so..and yet they are the ones being crammed into gas chambers, tortured and frightened to death by cruel humans that they trusted with their very lives, and lastly thrown away like garbage that never existed!! Unbelievable is all that I can say for anybody that condones this kind of behavior. If it is acceptable then why are humans not being done likewise? These beings are far more advanced than we ourselves are. Every State in the USA should have No Kill Shelters where animals that are not wanted can go to live out the entirety of their lives without the fear of euthanasia in any form! People of each State can operate these facilities outside of cities and operate on donations of time and money from animal lovers in each State. it is something that should be at least worth a try..otherwise we are no better than barbarians.

  59. Guidelines or no guidelines, there is no excuse for making a beautiful creature die that horrible death when death by injection is so much quicker and painless! One Holocaust was enough—we have to stop this 2nd one!

    • thank you , you just said it One Holocaust was enough , and me being German I have the responsibility to speak up and try my very best that this will never ever happen again SO STOP KILLING ANIMALS in GAS CHAMBERS

  60. When will someone have enough sympathy and insight to speak up and say enough is enough, gas chambers were a toy for Hitler, we owe it to all the victims, human and animal, to show respect for anything living, to put these atrocious, painful and inhumane machines out of use, we have turned to you to do this and yet you choose to keep letting them be used, you have in your hands the chance to change the world, I beg of you to show the world that we can do better.

  61. As a veterinarian, I am appalled that the AVMA continues to say that the use of gas chambers is acceptable in certain circumstances. Gas chambers are extremely inhumane, especially because they are not used the way the AVMA states they should be used. I have seen far too many videos of dozens of animals packed tightly into the chamber and then killed by this means. Without going into horrible details, i will say that the animals are obviously greatly suffering. The only means of humane euthanasia should be through IV injection. Please do the right thing and say that the use of gas chambers is inhumane and an unacceptable means of euthanasia. It’s time that this barbaric practice finally ends!

    • Stacey,

      You mention “…especially because they are not used the way the AVMA states they should be used…” If they are not being used correctly, then they do not meet the AVMA Guidelines for the Euthanasia of Animals and the AVMA Panel on Euthansia would not consider their use to be humane. Such failures in application can be addressed by working with the shelter/animal control facility in question to ensure they are using the method correctly and, if that is not successful, working toward regulatory enforcement of existing laws that require compliance with euthanasia guidelines.

      • Right, because we should be the ones to do that….? You do realize that none of the actual gas chambers used have ever been “in compliance” with your guidelines….Either way, it is not a humane death…it is a long, drawn out proccess where the animal fights for their last is that “good death”? instead, why don’t you step up and realize that making this method “ok” allows these horrible acts to continue. Hey, heres an idea, go visit a a shelter using this proccess and WATCH IT. Any one in this decision making process should actually witness what REALLY happens, instead of pushing a button and walking away.

          • Who is responsible for enforcing statutes and regulations varies by state, and it can also depend on what statute is being enforced (e.g., animal cruelty laws, laws governing the use of controlled substances). AVMA did a review of statutory and regulatory provisions addressing the euthanasia of companion animals. You can access a summary on the AVMA website here: . By looking for your state you can identify the applicable statute(s) and then, by looking at that statute you can determine who is responsible for enforcing it. That is the agency you contact if you have concerns about how a particular facility is conducting euthanasia.

          • Not when the AVMA, a federal agency, already produced a document containing guidelines by which state and local animal shelters will conduct “euthanasia” ( wrong term, as euthanasia refers to the HUMANE ending of a life, that is suffering or who has no hope for recovery from injury or illness) THAT DID NOT EXCLUDE OR MAKE UNLAWFUL, GAS CHAMBER DEATH. What would we propose to accomplish by contacting individual shelters if they are not legally being forced to stop using gas chambers?? SHAME ON ALL INVOLVED IN THIS MEASURE. HOW DO YOU SLEEP AT NIGHT??!!

          • The AVMA is not a governmental agency–at either the federal or state level. Ratherm, it is a not-for-profit, professional member organization (a non-governmental organization).

            Accordingly, the AVMA has no regulatory authority–no authority to make law, nor to enforce law. The AVMA Guidelines for the Euthanasia of Animals is a guidance document, intended primarily for use by veterinarians. While the Guidelines have been referenced in federal, state and local laws, enforcement authority (ensuring compliance with the Guidelines) rests with the governmental agencies assigned responbility for enforcing the law into which the Guidelines are written–not the AVMA.

          • Then, folks, we are preaching to the wrong choir….We need to hit this issue at a governmental level. If the AVMA has no authority to outlaw gas chambers, then we need to find out WHO does. This is not to say,Dr Golab, that I am not still appalled, shocked, and sickened, that Vets would even entertain the idea of compiling “guidelines” for the use of gas chambers, instead of fighting for their abolishment.

  62. Having to kill (put animals to sleep) because of overpopulation is bad enough, BUT using gas chambers is NOT an option. Vets, of all people, should be against gas chambers. If the local shelters do not have a qualified person to give lethal injections, you would think that local vets could donate some time to do it. Vets are admired & make good money. Step up to the plate to do what is right for the animals. Did you or did you not take an oath ??? Also, if you cannot help the animals, you should not hurt them by making them die in a barbaric way. Again, step up to the plate & keep your oath !!!

  63. I hate to say it,but these conditions will neve be met, and it will still be used because the AVMA considers it “acceptable.” Most shelters are understaffed and underfunded. No one is going to take the time or funds needed to train them to an acceptable level. We so condemned it’s use in Germany, why do we feel we it is warranted because they are animals.

  64. Mar 02 – 8:08 pm
    The use of these gassing chambers should be outlawed! They are very tramatic to animals! The animal is not at piece when killed! They fight for air and suffer greatly! No animal should be put to sleep in such conditions! Theres no one to hold them as they cross over! No caring tech to help them pass peacefully! They are stuffed into a steel box and it does not matter the size of the animal or whether its a dog or cat, they are all murdered together! We must put a stop to this barbaric practice! Please stop!!!!!!!

  65. I think these people should be made to sit through a gassing. When i worked for a poultry farm we had to gas chickens who were sick or injured.. I could not imagine piling dogs or cats into a metal box and gassing them.. Just having to listen to them would drive me crazy..

  66. The use of these gassing chambers should be outlawed! They are very tramatic to animals! The animal is not at piece when killed! They fight for air and suffer greatly! No animal should be put to sleep in such conditions! Theres no one to hold them as they cross over! No caring tech to help them pass peacefully! they are stuffed into a steel box and it does not matter the size of the animal or whether its a dog or cat, they are all murdered together! We must put a stop to this barbaric practice!

    • I totally agree. These poor animals so scared, fighting to stay alive and fighting with one another because of the burning that they feel before they die. I have also seen how they are mishandled before they are DESTROYED in the gas chamber! It is not a quick death nor peaceful. It is inhumane and torturous how these poor UNWANTED animals die and you support this method. I am apalled.

  67. Gassing is totally unacceptable under any circumstances. While I also agree with your final paragraph, your stance on this topic is weak. Do better.

  68. I fully agree with the advice given in the last paragraph. My only wish is that the AVMA’s collective conscience reflected a stronger standard of moral.

  69. There is nothing humane about killing innocent animals. I doubt any of these guidelines are followed. How can any of you sleep at night allowing this to continue. We live in an era of Spay, Neuter and rescue. It is time first a change and abolishing the gas chamber would have led the way for this country. I am disappointed that you have decided to let this continue. Apparently you have never looked into the eyes of one of these sad cats or dogs. You have no humanity.

    • Very well said, Sheree! Not only do they lack humanity, they lack the courage to speak for the animals.