Shelter using gas chambers to euthanize dogs sparks outrage in viral video
A protest against gas chamber euthanasia at Utah animal shelters was filmed on Thursday. Although a dozen activists showed up, the footage has been viewed more than a million times.
Samery Moras, who shared the viral video on TikTok and owns three dogs herself, felt “enormous sadness” that euthanasia by gas chambers remained legal in her state, she said. Newsweek.
The procedure involves placing an animal in a small enclosure while carbon monoxide is released. It is considered by the Humane Society of the United States to be less humane than lethal injection because death is significantly slower, taking up to 30 minutes.
Nonetheless, euthanasia by gas chamber is still actively used in animal shelters in Utah, Ohio, Wyoming, and Missouri, while only 28 states have enacted full or partial bans on the practice. according to the Humane Society.
In Moras’ video, protesters held up signs with pictures of a dog named Penguin. “This is Penguin, a friendly 3-year-old husky who had an adopter who wanted to take him,” Moras wrote in a text overlay over a photo of the tongue-wagging dog looking happy.
Penguin was euthanized at the North Utah Valley Animal Shelter earlier this month. Heather Smith, who runs her own dog shelter in Michigan, told local news channel KSTU-TV that she had arranged for her mother to adopt Penguin, only to find out he had been killed in a gas chamber before he can go to his new home.
The shelter claimed that Penguin had begun to act aggressively, Smith told the local station. As someone who worked with dogs herself, she was skeptical of a dog suddenly becoming aggressive out of nowhere.
In his video, Moras described euthanasia in the gas chamber in graphic detail.
“They are screaming and desperately trying to find a way out,” she wrote in the text overlay. “Some animals even break their claws trying in vain to force their way out of the chamber.”
In the comments section, thousands of viewers shared her horror and asked what they could do to help eliminate the procedure.
“This is cruelty. There is no justification. Where can I sign a petition or what can I do to prevent this from happening again?” asked a commentator.
“If it’s not human-friendly, it’s not animal-friendly,” added another. “It’s bad enough what these animals go through just to get to the shelter.”
Last August, the shelter pledged to move to euthanasia by injection, according to KSTU-TV. Trustees also confirmed at a board meeting last month that they had met requirements to purchase the equipment and substances needed for lethal injection.
Newsweek contacted the North Utah Valley Animal Shelter for comment.