Did You Know that Some Shelters in Canada ‘Euthanize’ Dogs and Cats in a Gas Chamber? Ban the Use of Gas Chambers in Canada!
Saturday June 1st 2013 there will be a peaceful protest held just
across the street from the SPCA Outaouais
located at 132 rue De Varennes, Gatineau, Quebec to once again ask the SPCA Outaouais
to STOP killing dogs and cats in the SPCA Outaouais’ Gas Chamber - a device
that is both barbaric and cruel.
According to the SPCA Outaouais' Director - the shelter takes in an average about 9500 animals a year, of those about 2200 are adopted out. 25% of the dogs and cats that enter the shelter make it back out alive..the other 75% are 'euthanized', many leave this earth having been put to death in the cruel and brutal Gas Chamber. Of that 75% that are euthanized - a large % of these animals are both healthy and adoptable.
All those involved in this protest hope that
this event will bring to light a well kept secret in the community, and in Canada:
- That shelter dogs and cats are suffering agonizing deaths in:
- The SPCA Outaouais’ gas
- And in other 'shelters' across Canada...
- But just try to goggle a list of such shelters;
- You will come up with little to nothing in the way of a list;
- Because the shelters that use gas chambers like to keep their 'little secret' quiet.
is ironic (that an organization) that has titled itself and promotes itself as
a SPCA (‘Society for the Protection of Cruelty to Animals’) has to-date – refused to shut down the use of their Gas
Chamber. Humans excel at
finding reasons to excuse themselves from the brutality of the decisions and
choices that they make and then they seek to attack others (or hire lawyers) in
order to exonerate themselves of any responsibility for the cruelty, abuse pain
and suffering that they cause.
the SPCA Outaouais has been quite successful in keeping the community ignorant
of the SPCA Outaouais’ use of their Gas Chamber to kill dogs and cats. There
has been very little outcry about the use of the Gas Chamber due to the simple fact that most residents have no idea
that this barbaric device is being used to kill dogs and cats in the Gatineau
facility. And while the use of this device is still legal in
most shelter facilities choose not to use such methods to kill the animals in
their care. The choice to use the Gas Chamber IS a matter of choice – it is not
a matter of economics.
fund the facility and its operations (including maintenance of the gas chamber
and supply of gas for its deathly use) the SPCA Outaouais relies heavily on
donations from the community. Could this be the reason why the SPCA Outaouais
has been less than open and communicative to the community about its use of the
interviewed by two of the protest organizers/leaders, the representatives of the SPCA Outaouais
– the head Veterinarian and their Lawyer had much to say in defence of their
choice to use the Gas Chamber to ‘euthanize’ shelter dogs and cats. Before discussing that, lets’ talk about the
Gas Chamber and what the term ‘euthanasia’ really means…
Euthanasia, by definition, is the act of inducing a painless death (from
ancient Greek eu-thanos,
meaning good death).
Meriam-Webster Dictionary - the act or practice of killing or
permitting the death of hopelessly sick or injured individuals (as persons or
domestic animals) in a relatively painless way for reasons of mercy.
The Gas Chamber was first developed in 1921 by the lawmakers in
the State of Nevada. The Gas Chamber was later embraced for use by the Nazi’s
as their primary means of mass murder. The use of the Gas Chamber for killing
humans and animals has since been made illegal in many places around the world,
including in its place of origin. When employed to kill humans, death in a gas
chamber can be extremely slow and painful, as demonstrated in several
high-profile executions from the 1980s and 1990s. One of the more infamous was
that of Jimmy Lee Gray in 1983. Mr Gray frantically gasped, moaned, and slammed
his head into a steel pipe for ten minutes as the cyanide slowly took effect.
In 1996, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that execution by poison gas
constitutes cruel and unusual punishment. The fact is – death by gas chamber is
no less cruel for a non-human animal.
States in the U.S.A have made it illegal to use a gas chamber to kill dogs and
cats with the latest being the State of Texas. This past week of May 20th,
2013, Governor Rick Perry enacted a law to prohibit the cruel practice of ‘euthanizing’ animals in a Gas Chamber. Texas State Senators voted unanimously
to ban animal shelter Gas Chambers. Now,
Jim Moran of Virginia is proposing a bill to have gas chambers banned in all 50
States. Sadly, when it comes to animal rights, Canada may not be quite as
civilized a place as you might have thought. And that is where protests like
the one to be held this Saturday are so important.
Chamber Use - Why We Must NOT Remain Silent on
chamber euthanasia is undeniably cruel...
During the gassing process carbon
monoxide is pumped into the gas chamber. The carbon monoxide slowly suffocates
the animals to death. Dogs and cats that
are gassed in the chamber suffer indeterminate minutes before dying. The time
spent suffering varies:
some it may take 10 or 15 minutes;
others the time of suffering can last a long time – 30 minutes, and hour;
animals do not die during the first gassing and must endure a second round of
Alabama, on October 3rd 2011 Daniel the beagle made headlines in the
dog advocacy world. Daniel was ‘put’ into a gas chamber along with 17 other
shelter dogs, all the other dogs died except for Daniel.
case is pretty unique – because he was not tossed back into the chamber for a
second round of gassing.
can read more about Daniel here on Daniel the Dog’s Blog Site.
are very few happy stories when it comes to animals and gas chambers.
- You can read eye-witness accounts here.
multiple animals are forced into the chamber. The stress and panic causes them
to fight for their last breath. The resulting fights result in physical injury
– one more brutality in the face of all that they (the dogs and cats ‘put’ into
the gas chamber) must suffer from the gassing The struggle to breath as they
are slowly suffocated by the carbon monoxide;
pain of organs slowly shutting down;
as their brain struggles to function as it is slowly starved of oxygen;
the panic of the other dogs or cats in the chamber – distress feeds distress
just as it does in humans.
truly horrible way to die.
It is well past time that Canadians stand up, take
notice and tell those having jurisdiction that enough is enough!
SPCA Outaouais says to quote...
“we only put healthy animals in the gas chamber”
and “we only put one dog in the gas chamber at a time”.
is that supposed to exonerate the SPCA Outaouais, to relieve them of the label of cruel?
The SPCA Outaouais puts multiple cats in the gas chamber together, but the cats are each placed in a separate crate within the gas chamber.
is that supposed to exonerate the SPCA Outaouais, to relieve them of the label of cruel?
in my opinion and certainly not in the opinion of other people in the community
How well kept is the secret regarding the use of he Gas Chamber by the SPCA Outaouais?
The following is an extract (from the
report made back to the members of the protest group) in which one of the group
organizers/leaders witnesses just how well hidden the truth has always been…
“Rita and I asked a
worker at the front about healthy, adoptable animals being euthanized and were
told it does not happen. They remain at the SPCA until adopted. Yet when Rita
queried the Director (of the shelter) about this, it was indicated healthy,
adoptable animals are euthanized in the gas chamber (but also by EBI and T61
depending) unlike the sick, injured, pregnant or under age 4 months animals
which cannot be put in there”.
A logical conclusion
one can draw from this observation is that shelter staff are instructed NOT to
let the public know that healthy adoptable animals are killed in the gas
A client that I recently worked with, told me about a friend of hers who had recently quit working at the SPCA Outaouais.
The woman quit becasue she could not stand to hear the dogs crying as
they died in the gas chamber. The only reason my client knew about the
gas chamber was becasue her friend had told her about it. Of all the
clients I work with in the region there are very few that are aware of
the fact that a local shelter kills dogs via the use of a gas chamber.
is common practice for many ‘shelters’ that gas one dog at a time to ‘tether’
the dog in the gas chamber so that the dog will not thrash about too much and
leave a bloody mess. After all the real reason behind gassing animals (rather
than using EBI) is convenience…so you can be sure that last thing the shelter
staff wants to be is inconvenienced by having to clean up a bloody mess. The SPCA Outaouais did not divulge wither they
tether the dogs that are put into the gas chamber alone.
and cats that end up in shelters are there because a human has let them down
intentionally and many times unintentionally. Sometimes the dogs human
passes away and no family member is willing to take the once beloved dog
or cat. Should that animal then die a painful death?
of the reason why a dog or cats ends up in a high-kill gas chamber
using shelter - the outcome is injury upon injury to that animal - that
they should be made to
suffer an agonizing death is unacceptable to me and I would hope it
unacceptable to you as well.
As a cross-poster (facebook
and twitter) of dogs in
high-kill shelters, as a human that lives her dailylife with ten dogs – eight of whom are rescues, I know from very personal
experience that dogs deserve better from human beings. About 50% of the dogs that
I work with (my client’s dogs) are rescues from shelters and rescue groups. There are so many amazing dogs that end-up in
high-kill shelters including those that use gas chambers.
American Humane Society Speaks Out on the Use of Gas Chambers for Euthanasia…
is the most humane method of euthanizing shelter animals. IF successful, the gas chamber can take up to
25 to 30 minutes to end an animal’s life, whereas EBI causes loss of
consciousness within 3 to 5 seconds and clinical death within 2 to 5
minutes. EBI causes animals to lose
consciousness and brain function before their vital organs shut down. In a chamber, however, animals lose
consciousness and brain function only after their vital organs shut down,
causing prolonged suffering and distress.
EBI is the method preferred by the National Animal Control Association,
the American Veterinary Medical Association, the Association of Shelter
Veterinarians, and The Humane Society of the United States. Old, neonatal, and injured animals are often
biologically unable to absorb the gas as readily as larger or healthier
animals, which prolongs trauma and stress. “
From the Human Society of the United States (HSUS) on the use of Gas Chambers…
“The HSUS considers use of the gas chamber in a shelter setting to be
unacceptable under any circumstances. “Euthanasia of dogs and cats in shelters
is a tragedy that must come to an end through spaying and neutering of pets,
increased adoption of pets from shelters and other approaches, but when an
animal must be euthanized, it’s critical that it be done in the most
compassionate way possible. Direct injection of approved euthanasia drugs, by
which the animal quickly loses consciousness without experiencing pain or
distress, is the most humane method currently available,” said Inga Fricke,
director of sheltering and pet care issues for The HSUS. “Lesser alternatives
like carbon monoxide gas chambers should never be used in shelter settings.”
reasons the HSUS considers gas chambers inappropriate in shelter settings
chambers cannot provide humane euthanasia for shelter populations:
- The animals
euthanized in shelters are often old, young, ill or injured; none of these
animals can be humanely euthanized in a gas chamber.
- Even healthy adult dogs and cats will suffer stress just by being
placed in a gas chamber, making their death inhumane.
chambers pose grave dangers to staff:
- Gas chambers pose great physical and
psychological harm to staff.
- Staff must handle, transport and place animals
into the chamber, putting them at risk of bites and scratches.
- Animal care
workers have also been injured and killed by carbon monoxide, a colorless,
odourless and tasteless toxic gas.
by injection is less expensive:
- Studies have proven that it is more expensive
to operate a gas chamber than it is to purchase and use euthanasia drugs. “
Am I Promoting a Campaign of Hate Against Shelters That Choose to Use Gas Chambers?
No. And in regards to the SPCA Outaouais - no
I am not, nor are those wonderful ladies who have worked so hard to
organize and lead the protest against the use of the gas chamber by the SPCA Outaouais.
I am not,
saying that the SPCA Outaouais does zero good in the community, but obviously
there is huge room for improvement...
According to the SPCA Outaouais' Director - the shelter takes in an average about 9500 animals a year, of those about 2200 are adopted out. So, about 25% of the dogs and cats that enter the shelter make it back out...the other 75% are 'euthanized'.
Like I said, there is huge room for improvement!
shelters - that still use a gas chamber to kill shelter dogs and cats, may try
to bully you into silence, it is of the utmost importance to move forward and
Gas Chamber using Shelters STOP trying to Bully Those That Truly Care About Dogs and Cats into Silence!
would a shelter need to bully people into silence if they – the shelter, really
felt that what they were doing was ethical, moral and humane?
the meeting held between two of the SPCA Outaouais protest organizers/leaders,
and the SPCA Outaouais 1representatives the SPCA Outaouais lawyer
attempted to bully the protest group into silence. Here to quote from one of
the Protest leaders present at that meeting…
“Lastly, as we were
about to leave, the lady who i cannot recall who she is, showed me and Rita a lot
of our FB postings and SPCA admitted to us they were monitoring this board. I
told them that was fine; they could do such. This lady stated she was a lawyer
and there were other lawyers willing to work for free with her, to possibly go
up against us for ruining SPCA Gatineau's reputation and spreading false
Well, all I can say
is shame SPCA Outaouais,
shame on you. You are the authors of your own reputation, the responsibility for the decisions you make are yours.
I did post on our FB Group Protest page
in response to the SPCA Outaouais’
lawyer’s threat. Here is an excerpt of my response to the lawyer's threatening words...
“Speaking about the REALITY
and FACTS around a certain situation does not qualify under ‘ruining reputation
and spreading false information.’ In FACT multiple people on this FB page have
“Are we here to
hate, make war on, despise, etc. the shelter – no, not as far as I am concerned.
Are we here to bring light to the fact that the SPCA Outaouais has chosen to use a Gas Chamber
to kill dogs and cats – yes we are. Are we here and is it our intention or
purpose to ‘ruin’ the SPCA Outaouais’
reputation No, not in my opinion. Are we here to bring to light the issue of
the use of the Gas Chamber yes. Are we here to request that the SPCA Outaouais stop using the Gas Chamber to
kill dogs and cats – yes. Is that a fair and reasonable request – yes.”
- The SPCA Outaouais performs a needed role in the
- That the SPCA Outaouais does do good;
- However the good
that the SPCA Outaouais
(or for that matter anyone else) creates does not exonerate that person or
organization for choices that they make that are otherwise in nature (i.e. less
than good, harmful, etc. when there are viable alternatives);
- We are not
responsible for the choices of the SPCA Outaouais
– the SPCA Outaouais is responsible for their
- It is not this FB page that ‘ruins
the SPCA Gatineau’s reputation’, if SPCA Outaouais
chooses to continue use of the Gas Chamber, than it is the SPCA Outaouais that is effecting their own
- And while the SPCA Outaouais does some good in the community
so do other SPCAs HSs and rescue groups in the area – one main difference is
that the SPCA Outaouais
is using a Gas Chamber;
- Fact or fiction?
- It is Fact;
- It is choice.”
“Should you be
threatening us with legal action – well you can do so, however your threat is
unfounded and in so threatening us, you may very well be the cause of damage to
your own reputation as people may question and wonder why you are threatening
people for speaking out about facts and truth.”
1 The SPCA Outaouais representatives in attendance at the meeting were
the shelter Director who is also a veterinarian and the SPCA Outaouais’ Lawyer
who is also a member of the SPCA Outaouais’ Board of Directors.
of The Situation – Is Lack of Funding a Valid Excuse to Choose Using a Gas
One of the
participants in the protest discussion brought this very excellent example to
Sampson County Shelter's Journey to Change...
Sampson County in
North Caroline made the choice to dismantle their gas chamber May15th, 2013. This
shelter is much poorer than the SPCA Outaouais, yet Sampson County had the integrity, ethics and morals to
move forward with shutting down their Gas Chamber. You can read the story here.
In addition it is important to note that although Sampson County is a small and
poorly funded shelter they work very hard to keep their rate of adoptions high
and euthanasia low – currently their rate of euthanasia sits at 30%, with the
rate of adoptions steadily on the rise.
A small shelter moving in the right direction, having left excuses for
making the wrong choice far behind – it is a great story; you can read about it
The SPCA Outaouais Says It's a Decision Driven by Money - But Is it Really?
The SPCA Outaouais stated in their interview with the protest organizers that
they (the SPCA Outaouais) are currently
operating on an annual budget of $2.6 million. The Sampson County shelter’s budget was and is
considerably less than that of the SPCA Outaouais.
that SPCA Outaouais’ decision/choice
to use the gas chamber cannot be relegated to an issue of economics…here to
quote from one of the protest leaders during her interview with the SPCA Outaouais’ shelter Director…
“SPCA Outaouais stated 1.6 million goes to
salaries for the 50 employees and another big chunk goes for medicine. I know
Royal Canine donates their food (from what I am told) to SPCA Gatineau so there
is 1 million left over and a 2009 study by the American Humane Association
studies the costs between the use of gas and EBI by sodium pentobarbital, and
found the cost to euthanize an animal with CO gas is $4.98 an animal if using
sedation. If no sedation it is $4.66 per animal. The cost for EBI was $2.29 an
animal. Thus I am not completely sure why SPCA Gatineau cites this as a
resource issue and staff issue when EBI would be cheaper in the long term and
Never-ever allow a
gas chamber-using shelter tell you they use a gas chamber for monitory reasons.
So Why Do Shelters
Still Insist on Using a Gas Chamber to Kill Dogs and Cats?
I will let you draw
your own conclusions. But I will leave you with this from the interview with
the Director of the SPCA Outaouais
and their lawyer as reported back to us (the Protest Group)
by one of the two Protest group leaders who was in attendance at the meeting…
Below is the balance
of the notes from that meeting – read them carefully and then judge for
Should Gas Chambers be used to kill shelter dogs and cats?
is No, Not Ever...
What will your answer be?
Here are the notes...
"So Rita and I had
our meeting with the Gatineau SPCA on Friday May 17. It commenced at around 9am
and ended around 1145am however it could have gone on longer but I had another
appt. to attend. So there were pro's and con's to this meeting. The Director, a
veterinarian, and another individual were there. I cannot recall who this third
person was that was present but at the end of the meeting she did mention she
was a lawyer. I believe she also sat on the Board of Directors from what i
The Pro's were as follows:
SPCA Gatineau states they also want to reach a point at which they can
dismantle the gas chamber.
SPCA does partner with Petsmart and other locally based pet stores in their
area to promote adoptions for their animals. Last year, 700 animals were placed
in rescues from SPCA Gatineau.
SPCA did acknowledge that they receive approx. 9500 total animals yearly of
which 2200 are adopted.
SPCA also uses lethal injection as well as T61 as other euthanization methods
in addition to the chamber. All owner surrender animals are put down (if
requested or deemed not adoptable) by lethal injection.
SPCA did acknowledge they subsist on donations and selling licence tags and
have a yearly annual budget combined from these income sources of approx. $2.6
SPCA has one almost full time vet (4 days a week for full shifts) and other
rotating vets that come through.
SPCA acknowledges there is a large issue with animal welfare in Quebec and
cited that on average an individual who gets a pet only keeps them for 19
months prior to dumping them somewhere or wanting to get rid of the animal.
SPCA vet did acknowledge that lethal injection is the preferred method for
euthanization as did the other staff at this meeting. Due to resource and
staff, lethal injection is not possible at all times.
Only healthy animals are placed in the gas chamber and not pregnant animals,
animals under 4 months of age, old, sick or injured animals. Up to 6 cats,
separated in carriers, can be placed in the chamber for one cycle. Only one dog
is placed in the chamber at any one time. I am not saying these are GOOD things
but it is better than shoving multiple animals of various species in together
for a gassing cycle.
I thought the vet present was the most transparent and is trying to educate
other vets on shelter medicine.
Now for the CON's:
Although the gas chamber is newer than their previous one, it cost $6000
(including install) and is inside the building. The gas chamber is used given
resource issues however 2.6 million dollars per year seems like a lot of money.
SPCA stated 1.6 million goes to salaries for the 50 employees and another big
chunk goes for medicine. I know Royal Canine donates their food (from what I am
told) to SPCA Gatineau so there is 1 million left over and a 2009 study by the
American Humane Association studies the costs between the use of gas and EBI by
sodium pentobarbital, and found the cost to euthanize an animal with CO gas is
$4.98 an animal if using sedation. If no sedation it is $4.66 per animal. The
cost for EBI was $2.29 an animal. Thus I am not completely sure why SPCA
Gatineau cites this as a resource issue and staff issue when EBI would be
cheaper in the long term and overall.
The vet and Director explained the gas chamber process. The gas chamber runs on
each cycle being 27 minutes long. The animal (s) is placed in the chamber,
usually not with sedation , and by a shelter worker who operates the chamber
using a manual as a guide if needed. The CO is turned up to 6% and the worker turns
the chamber on and after a minute, apparently the animal is unconscious, yet
this does not mean the animal is dead. You can be unconscious obviously (i.e.
while under anaesthesia during an operation and unaware of your surroundings,
etc., yet still alive) Often the animal urinates or defecates as the vet
stated, while in the chamber, which can happen with death. The issue I think
with placing 6 cats (even if in carriers and separated) falls in line with what
the ASSOCIATION OF SHELTER VETS (ASV) recently stated which is : "The ASV
report elaborates, “[A]n acceptable method of euthanasia must be quick and
painless, and should not cause distress. Any gas that is inhaled must reach a
certain concentration in the lungs before it can be effective (AVMA 2007). The
high gas flow rates necessary to achieve the recommended concentration of 6%
can result in noise levels that frighten animals. Placing multiple animals in
the chamber may frighten and distress the animals and dilute the effective
concentration of carbon monoxide that each animal receives, creating a
haphazard euthanasia experience that can be prolonged, painful and ineffective.
" So, from what i deduce from this statement, it is known this 6% can
cause distress to the animal and could affect the amount each cat receives of
CO thus possibly rendering the time to reach the state of unconsciousness,
As the first minute passes, SPCA told us the worker sees, through a glass
window, the animal is not breathing, so assumes it is dead however this worker
cannot open the gas chamber door until 26 minutes later given the CO now has to
dilute. The worker leaves and comes back after 26 minutes to retrieve the body
which then goes to the incinerator. The vet admitted that there was not a 100%
guarantee the animal was dead given things like heart rate, corneal reflexes,
etc. are not checked until after the full 27 minute cycle given the worker
cannot open the door so as not to assume injury. These indicators are checked
by a shelter worker and not the vet. The vet even stated to me, when I queried
her, that the gas chamber will be used even if she is there, as she could be
busy doing other things. It seems the vet is a top resource as the one lady
(who I cannot recall who she is) kept stating they will spend resources on the
living over the dead. The issue I have with this is that a study was done (it
is an old study in 1983 but should still not be discarded) that showed the
effects of 6% concentration carbon monoxide on dogs could not establish the
precise time that loss of consciousness occurred, and dogs were observed to be
vocalizing and agitated still. So it is very possible, animals are still alive
after a minute, given the worker has to look from afar and also given he / she
departs and does not return for 26 minutes more, we do not know what is fully
occurring with the animal. The vet did acknowledge the animals do make sounds
in the chamber when placed in there however no elaboration of this was given.
It seemed there were alot of uncertainties in this discussion at this part. It
also bothered me that this gas chamber, being used daily, could be then
discerned to be used routinely. Last year AVMA issued a draft proposal that
would find use of CO chambers for “routine” killing of dogs and cats is
SPCA acknowledged a shelter worker does weekly checks of the chamber to ensure
the seals are in good shape, makes sure the CO concentration is OK, CO detector
is operating, etc. This machine is indoors which is also something AVMA does
not recommend this and specifically states "the gas source and chamber
must be located in a well ventilated environment, preferable out of doors"
The area the chamber is in at SPCA Gatineau is a room of many feet high however
overall the room is only about 8 by 7 feet and the chamber takes up about 1/3
of that space. Now I am not sure what constitutes a "well ventilated
environment" but this chamber was definitely indoors. All 3 SPCA workers
cited one instance in the past year where a worker put a cat in the chamber and
forgot to turn the CO on, thus leaving the cat in there and coming back 27
minutes later to find it alive. SPCA Gatineau did not cite any other instances
of ever having an animal go in the chamber and come out alive at the end.
However obviously this worker who forgot to turn the CO on and left the cat in
the 2 feet by 2 feet chamber had not been instructed thoroughly in the chamber
usage. AVMA also stated "Personnel must be instructed thoroughly in the
gas's use and must understand its hazards and limitations." It is highly
probable that the cat in this chamber, although not subject to CO, could have
experienced some psychological distress in such a small and confined
environment for those 27 minutes. I have issue with a regular shelter worker
performing maintenance on the gas chamber in which AVMA has instituted such
strict criteria for its use as of 2013 (and all these criteria must be
operating concurrently). I suppose this is permitted however it would seem this
could lead to oversights much more readily than if an actual maintenance person
trained in this checked it on a regular basis. The criteria for the gas chamber
to be used sets the bar so high, it is my opinion that, it cannot be used
routinely, as SPCA Gatineau stated they use it (which I remind is not
recommended by AVMA) and not be free of problems or oversights.
SPCA stated they would need fundraising and more money and resources to end the
gas chamber (possibly $70,000 yearly for two more full time tech's, which is
the minimum needed). Yet when I asked again if this for sure would end the gas
chamber usage, the reply was "It depends..." So there seemed to be
some flip flop on this and with a 1.6 million budget leftover yearly after
employee salaries for 50 people, it would seem that this is not a resource
issue after all. Many much poorer shelters and areas have converted from gas to
lethal injection and were in the red, yet they still did it. I cite Montreal
SPCA as an example.
Rita and I asked a worker at the front about healthy, adoptable animals being
euthanized and were told it does not happen. They remain at the SPCA until
adopted. Yet when Rita queried the Director about this, it was indicated
healthy, adoptable animals are euthanized in the gas chamber (but also by EBI
and T61 depending) unlike the sick, injured, pregnant or under age 4 months
animals which cannot be put in there.
SPCA Gatineau indicated they were part of MAPAQ and sat on the Board. Given the
recent vote to keep the gas chamber operative for another 5 years by MAPAQ (who
has taken over for Anima Quebec), it appears SPCA Gatineau had a say in their
gas chamber and could have voted against continued usage of it.
One thing that really bothered Rita and I was the few times the Director stated
we could go to gas chamber and observe an animal in it and see that this was in
fact, a peaceful death. Rita and I continually declined, not because we are not
sure in our facts and stance on this, but because we were shocked at the lack
of empathy we appeared to see in these comments. Rita stated she did not want
an innocent animal to die just to prove a point which was my thought. I was
very surprised that although the staff we spoke to stated they loved animals so
much, they were willing to just put an animal in the gas chamber to make an
example of something to us. Even if we did agree to this, watching one gassing
does not mean all others are conducted right. Also, given we could not actually
check any vitals, etc. after a 27 minute cycle would still leave me questioning
how humane this was.
Lastly, as we were about to leave, the lady who i cannot recall who she is,
showed me and Rita a lot of our FB postings and SPCA admitted to us they were
monitoring this board. I told them that was fine; they could do such. This lady
stated she was a lawyer and there were other lawyers willing to work for free
with her, to possibly go up against us for ruining SPCA Gatineau's reputation
and spreading false information. They cited our pictures to be not of their
shelter. This is true, however I explained we are allowed our opinions and FB
is a public forum. They were mad as they said the pictures did not depict their
shelter actions or their gas chamber. So I stated that (since they were quite
upset at the main large cover photo on the main page with the many dogs on it)
that I would search for another pic of a gas chamber just like theirs with one
dog in it only, and use that. I was curious that these animal loving
individuals were willing to put that many resources into going after Rita and I
based on us wanting them to remove their gas chamber. Anyways it was at this
point, that Rita became quite upset, which was understandable and we departed.
There is so much more that happened but this is the meat of it really. I found
it very interesting and informative. I agree with SPCA that the whole mentality
of Quebec has to change in regards to animals but I believe you must start
small and I think SPCA should change their mentality on gassing first. I
believe SPCA Gatineau has potential to be a good and humane shelter and that
they could abolish the chamber. I believe, given the large investment recently
of $6000 for it, that it is new, and they do not want to give it up just yet.
Also I believe their statement of "we will put more resources into the
living than the dead" was very telling. Meaning the vet will not be
euthanizing with lethal injection but will be doing other things as it is much
easier to have a shelter worker put an animal or animals into the chamber, shut
the door, turn it on, observe for a minute to see if the chest moves up or
down, and walk away and return in 26 minutes”
So Canada – Stop the Silence...
Speak out, tell the shelter authorities having jurisdiction; tell
your municipal, provincial and federal representatives, that the use of gas
chambers to kill shelter animals IS NOT acceptable.
I find it absolutely shameful that a so called civilized society
(North America - with exceptions to those areas that have banned gas chamber
use) turns their collective head and allows this undeniable cruelty to
How can an 'SPCA' claim their title of 'Prevention of Cruelty to
Animals' when the use of a Gas Chamber is NOT and never will be a peaceful way
And shame goes to the AVMA for not outright condemning the use -
as they continue to prevaricate and 'pussy-foot around outright condemnation of
the Gas Chamber.
Shame on Human'kind'.
I would like to see one person who advocates for the use of a Gas
Chamber actually come out and truly agree that they would be happy to die in a
Gas Chamber knowing that it would be a peaceful (not stressful, not painful,
not terrifying, not prolonged) way to die.
Dogs have great intelligence and a full capacity to feel and express all emotions with the exception of cruelty - an emotion that is fully
owned by humans and some species of primates.
There is no excuse but human hubris to explain the use
of a gas chamber to kill dogs, cats, geese and any other animal.
I will go further to say that in my opinion there is
something seriously lacking in a human being who can and does knowingly, willfully take a
dog ,cat etc. and ‘put’ them in a gas chamber, turn on the switch for gas, walk
away and allow that animal to die...
dogs and cats need people to LOOK, need people to KNOW, need people to SPEAK
OUT, need people to SHARE, TWEET and STOP this travesty.
is my Pack - many of whom would have been gassed-to-death had they been
in a gas chamber using shelter...they are lucky, so many wonderful dogs
are not so lucky - so please SPEAK OUT for those who cannot!|
Labels: Animal Stories, Companions, Controversy, Crime, Social-Cultural Deviations, societal failures