Shooting vs. Euthanasia in Kill Shelters - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
CatForum.com is the premier Cat Forum on the internet. Registered Users do not see the above ads.
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 08-06-2004, 01:56 AM   #1 (permalink)
Senior Cat
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 818
Default Shooting vs. Euthanasia in Kill Shelters

I was wondering something... in a kill shelter - would it be more humane to shoot an animal rather than euthanize it? Why do I ask? Here is your answer:

If you shoot an animal correctly - they should die in an instant. I remember Ianthe saying something about the the medicine in the shelters being of a very poor quality - and some leave the animal suffering and twitching in pain for around half an hour. I know there are guns that have cheap bullets (at least I believe there are) so why not shoot the animals instead of killing them slowly? I know the thought of guns and animals seen sort of barberic - and if death could be avoided it would be wonderful - but given a situation where they are going to be killed anyway - it just seems like the more humane thing to do.

Anyone else have any thoughts?
__________________
"Dogs come when they're called; cats take a message and get back to you later."
-Mary Bly
Gabreilla Moushigo is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 08-06-2004, 03:28 AM   #2 (permalink)
Premier Cat
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Folsom, CA
Posts: 5,098
Default Re: Shooting vs. Euthanasia in Kill Shelters

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gabreilla Moushigo
I was wondering something... in a kill shelter - would it be more humane to shoot an animal rather than euthanize it? Why do I ask? Here is your answer:

If you shoot an animal correctly - they should die in an instant. I remember Ianthe saying something about the the medicine in the shelters being of a very poor quality - and some leave the animal suffering and twitching in pain for around half an hour. I know there are guns that have cheap bullets (at least I believe there are) so why not shoot the animals instead of killing them slowly? I know the thought of guns and animals seen sort of barberic - and if death could be avoided it would be wonderful - but given a situation where they are going to be killed anyway - it just seems like the more humane thing to do.

Anyone else have any thoughts?

I have often thought of this myself.......they used to gas the animals....then it was decided that was "inhumane", and they started injecting them. But really, if a cheap solution is used ( and I am sure they all vary...there may be many places that DO use an OK solution, similar to what you veterinarian uses), well, than, that doesn't seem much more humane than gassing to me. At least, like you said Gaby, a gunshot would be instant. I have a feeling it has to do with the workers. I think that with the injectable, they can just give them the shot and then put them in a back room, leave, and wait, so they don't have to actually witness the suffering......with a gun, someone would actually have to pull the trigger.
Ianthe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-06-2004, 05:55 AM   #3 (permalink)
Premier Cat
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Folsom, CA
Posts: 5,098
Default

Well, I have been doing some research.....depressing research. Hereis some of the stuff I found about different euthanasia practices:

Quote:
Across the country, there is wide disparity among shelters and their methods and application of euthanasia. Problems stemming from inadequate training, insufficient funding, indifference to animal suffering, and failure to recognize the need to change and update procedures, are found everywhere, from small rural shelters to large city facilities. The urgent need for a consensus on humane euthanasia is graphically illustrated by the following recent cases:

Rogers, AR. Lack of funding, lack of training, and lack of equipment were blamed for four years of "euthanizing" feral cats, skunks, raccoons, opossums, and other wild animals by drowning. Trapped animals were left in their cages and simply dropped into a plastic 55-gallon barrel (which was purchased for that purpose in 1996) filled with water. The shelter's employees were told by the director that drowning was humane and legal -- it's neither. No charges were filed, but the practice was stopped as soon as the mayor found out about it. The shelter now uses lethal injection.
Long Hill, NJ. A kennel owner admitted using an illegal drug to kill more than 600 animals in 1998 and almost 300 in 1999. The powerful muscle-relaxing drug, succinylcholine chloride, was banned in 1988 for euthanasia in New Jersey. This drug essentially paralyzes the animal, including the diaphragm and breathing muscles, but has no effect on consciousness -- the terrified animal is fully aware that he cannot breathe, and helplessly suffocates to death. Numerous other violations were found by inspectors on several surprise visits, including failure to hold animals for the required length of time before killing them, and neglecting to provide veterinary care to a dog with a broken leg. Additionally, more than 300 cats were killed by injections directly into the heart -- which is not only stressful but acutely painful. The kennel owner was fined $18,715.
Vermilion Parish, LA. Animals are still euthanized by a regular 6-cylinder gasoline engine that pumps acrid exhaust gas into the small room where they are confined. Even though the gas is pumped through water to cool it a little, the fumes are still hot, irritating, and painful. Their skin and eyes burning, the animals die slowly and horribly. Animal protection groups have been trying since 1992 to get the shelter to change to a more humane method of euthanasia, but in spite of lawsuits and letters, the parish remains resistant to voluntarily changing its ways.
Albuquerque, NM. An audit by the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) found many serious problems with the care of animals at the two city shelters. The audit team was so alarmed at the conditions that they issued a preliminary report blasting the treatment of animals. HSUS representatives found that dogs were killed by painful direct injections to the heart while conscious, a practice that even the lenient AVMA guidelines condemns as inhumane. Animals were restrained (and sometimes lifted) with a "catch" or "control" pole (a long-handled pole with a coated wire noose at one end that is placed around the animal's neck and tightened), allegedly to prevent injury to staff members. However, the audit team concluded that it was more likely due to lack of training, as well as an apparent lack of concern for the comfort, anxiety, and needs of the animals being euthanized. The report states, "The HSUS did not witness any instance where an animal was held or comforted for a gentle death." Worst of all, the HSUS team found that seven animals were still alive (their hearts were beating) after they were placed in the freezer. The Albuquerque shelters euthanize about 18,000 animals annually -- 75% of the animals that come through their doors. (For comparison, San Francisco's euthanasia rate is about 17%.)
Sacramento, CA. As it had in Albuquerque, word got out about the poor conditions at the Sacramento City animal shelter. The HSUS was brought in to assess the shelter and make recommendations. Consultants found "most staff displaying a lack of concern for an animal's anxiety level, pain response, and overall well-being," as well as an obvious lack of training. Supervision was extremely poor in many areas. Shelter personnel never scanned animals for microchips before killing them, refused to use tranquilizers for fractious animals (relying instead on brute physical force to restrain them), killed dogs in full view of live dogs awaiting euthanasia, and committed many other violations of shelter policy. A chloroform chamber used to kill small animals was used improperly. A live newborn kitten was put into the chamber with six dead kittens who had been killed the day before. The following day, a live pigeon was placed in the chamber with the seven dead kittens. An HSUS team member finally asked a supervisor to check the chamber, at which time he removed the dead animals -- four days after the first six kittens died in it. Unlike Albuquerque, however, Sacramento immediately began to remedy the deficits, and has made an effort to be responsive to the report findings as well as to the concerned citizens in the community.
Gee, I feel so proud that the Sacramento Shelter made it on this list.....I told you guys they were awful
Ianthe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-06-2004, 06:22 AM   #4 (permalink)
Premier Cat
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Folsom, CA
Posts: 5,098
Default

i have been doing more research...

Quote:
Shelters employ a number of other "euthanasia" methods. One common method is the gas chamber. Either carbon monoxide (CO) or carbon dioxide (CO2) is generally used, though some still use nitrogen gas. California banned the use of CO gas chambers for euthanasia effective January 1, 2001. Many injection givers initially resisted the change, because injection requires two workers and extended physical contact with the animal, but once they understood the process, they realized it is better for the animal, and actually less stressful for them. For some animals, the gentle touch of a shelter worker during the euthanasia process may be the only real affection they have ever had. The lethal injection technique allows the worker to comfort the animal and experience closure of the death process.

Three states (AZ, SC, TN) specifically allow nitrogen gas, and three (OK, SC, TN) allow carbon monoxide; all of these states also allow lethal injection, with gas as an alternate method. Gas chambers have many limitations which make the method less practical, slower, more dangerous to staff (a shelter worker died of CO poisoning just last year), and ultimately more expensive than lethal injection. Abuse of the chamber is common. While shelter policies commonly require physical separation in individual cages and close observation of the process, in many cases animals are simply shoved into the chamber, the door sealed, the button pushed, and the employee walks away. The sponsor of the bill in Tennessee that would mandate lethal injection said of the gas chamber that it "results in a slow, painful death." Ronald R. Grier and Tom L. Colvin's 1990 Euthanasia Guide for Animal Shelters recommends that all animals should be tranquilized before placement in the chamber -- something that is virtually never done in practice.

Three states (DE, OK, TN) allow chloroform for animals under 8 weeks of age (young animals up to 4 months old are resistant to gas euthanasia). Eleven states defer to a higher authority, such as the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), the state veterinary board (OH), or the state veterinarian (VA), or provide standards for humane death (IA, NH, ND, RI, SC, WA). One state (SC) allows shooting (in emergencies). Only one state (AZ) allows the use of T-61, a drug that is considered unacceptable by AVMA because it immobilizes and suffocates the animal without causing unconsciousness, resulting in pain and distress. Twenty-five states have banned the use of "high altitude" decompression chambers, which were used extensively in the 1950s and 1960s, but were subsequently deemed to be cruel.

The Report of the AVMA Panel on Euthanasia is used as a reference by hundreds of shelters around the country, and four states (GA, KS, MO, NY) mandate using only methods considered acceptable in this report. The report was revised in 2000; unfortunately, the updated version has significant problems, but nevertheless was passed and published by the AVMA, primarily through the force of will of a single individual who ramrodded it through -- over the reservations of the committee that produced it, as well as the unanimous disapproval of the organization's main governing body. The report fails to address the inappropriateness of CO for animals under 16 weeks of age, and sick, pregnant, injured, or old animals. In spite of the report's own statement that CO2 "may be distressing" especially to cats, it is included as an acceptable method of feline euthanasia. Suffocating birds by pressing on their chests is referred to as "apparently painless." Kill-traps, which rarely function properly even under controlled laboratory conditions and are indiscriminate killers of any animal that gets caught in them, are promoted as "practical and effective" for wildlife. And electrocution is considered "conditionally acceptable" for dogs.

I had no idea that Gas was still used in some states.....that is disgusting. That is one of the most inhumane ways to put animals to sleep:

Quote:
Forty-four miles from Waco, Texas is the small, lovely town of Gatesville, Texas. About 10 miles outside the city limits of Gatesville, isolated off a county road, behind a locked gate and nowhere to be seen is the city's 'Animal 'Pound'.

Twice in the last several months I have driven from my home in Waco to this unsanitized 'animal pound.' Over the past 14 years, I have seen and fought hard against animal shelters and pounds that give nothing but misery and suffering to animals.

So many people three years ago greatly assisted my organization, ANIMALS HAVE HEARTS, TOO! in a 3-month battle against the City of Abilene, Texas and their use of a gas chamber where they bunched-up many animals at one time, shoved them in the gas chamber, pushed the button and walked away from the ghastly nightmare. We won a victory there by emails, letters and facsimiles to various members of the City of Abilene, and they changed to lethal injection.

Now, we are requesting assistance again. This small town has set up a small bricked-in confinement for a gas chamber. When shut, it is complete darkness inside (pictures are available that I and other individuals took of the chamber and the animal pound where feces and filth are everywhere/also, located around the animal pound-empty shotgun shells), and the small brick chamber is hooked up to an old City of Gatesville police car with its tires taken off and a hose is hooked up to its exhaust pipe directly attached to the gas chamber.

Also, in one picture, the gas pedal has a tree-stick shoved against it and the car seat so no individual has to push the gas pedal to maintain pressure for the gas fumes to move to the gas chamber.

It is a haunting sight to realize what the dogs, puppies, cats and kittens must go through. All alone, pushed into this darkness and then very slowly gassed to death.

This is unacceptable to all of us, and we need your assistance in writing to place people and the city on notice.

Please tell the below list of individuals that a gas chamber of any kind is unacceptable and causes great suffering and must be dismantled. Unwanted animals are entitled to basic protections under the Texas State Law. Tell them to stop permitting pound/city employees to continue killing animals by gassing. We realize this is a small town, but other small towns know it is a horrible action to gas animals and instead, use lethal injection--even in a small community there must be given to the animals respect and dignity in the time of their deaths!

It is well-known that animals killed in gas chambers especially homemade, car exhaust to chamber is a wrenching way to die. The animals often scream in panic, they struggle for air and the exhaust gas horribly irritates their eyes and noses.

Gassing animals is an extremely cruel and inhumane method of euthanasia; if you can even call gassing euthanasia. We resonate with all of creation, and whatever harm or brutality is done to these innocents without voices affects us all, one way or the other.

All of us are appalled by the way this small town has hidden the 'animal pound' way away from civilization and are killing the unwanted animals by CARBON MONOXIDE POISONING
...through the exhaust of a vehicle!
The following is about a shelter in Corpus Christi, TX:

Quote:
Our source reports as follows:

The gas chamber at the facility is faulty, as it has been for years. It often takes two to three hours for animals to die. Allegedly, employees often have to push the gas chamber button several times and animals can be heard inside fighting with each other and gasping for air.


The animals are crammed into the chamber, sometimes as many as 40 to 50 at a time, although the gas chamber is designed to hold only four animals at a time, allowing for individual separation.


All animals are routinely and indiscriminately gassed to death, even though according to the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), “It is absolutely unacceptable to use carbon monoxide for the euthanasia of dogs and cats who are old, under 4 months of age, sick, or injured.”


Employees have no formalized training in animal-handling. This is evidenced by the recent photograph in the Caller Times. Two new employees are reportedly using the catch poles in this same cruel manner—choking the animals and dragging them by the neck. Reportedly, catch poles are used on animals regardless of whether or not they are aggressive; according to our source, “Some of the employees seem not to like the animals and try not to touch them.”


None of the employees knows how to verify death in the animals coming out of the gas chamber, thus leaving the possibility that animals could be bagged and buried alive. The American Humane Associations Operational Guide for Animal Care and Control Agencies states, “Before any disposition is made of the bodies, each animal must be carefully checked to verify death. … Animals should be laid out on a floor or table for a minimum of 15 minutes and then checked for [signs of death] before disposal
Here is another:
Quote:
Many abandoned animals die in taxpayer-funded gas chambers

By BILL BASKERVILL
Associated Press Writer

June 16 2002

RICHMOND, Va. -- Mary Ellison remembers the scene vividly: Several dogs were placed in a chest freezer converted into a gas chamber. The lid, with a viewing window, was closed and the carbon monoxide in a tank next to the chamber was turned on. "There was a lot of barking, growling, crying, beating on the door trying to get out" as they were poisoned, the animal control officer said. The animals were gassed at a public pound Ellison visited in Virginia eight years ago. Today, carbon monoxide chambers--some of them jerry-built metal boxes--are still widely used in the United States to kill unwanted animals, most of them strays picked up by animal control.
From North Carolina:
Quote:
Stop Gas Euthanasia in North Carolina
All you hear is a door slammed closed and the sound of screams and choking as the gas is turned on. They see one another dying, going into convulsions and bleeding out of the mouth. Many are not quite dead and are thrown back in the incinerator. We are not talking about the Holocaust, we are talking about something that happens in your community every day. Thousands of dogs are put down every year in North Carolina. Many shelters have not updated their method of euthanasia and are still using the gas chamber. In many peoples eyes this is not humane. The only humane way to put a dog to sleep is by lethal injection through a vein in the leg. This method takes less than 30 seconds and is pain free for the most part. Please help, by signing this petition, North Carolina put a law into affect to make lethal injection into the leg the only way to euthanize an animal.
From Virginia:
Quote:
Recently, CNN and other news stations ran footage of a dog being killed in a gas chamber of sorts. The tape is to be
used to train members of terrorist groups in Afganistan and elsewhere. People were horrified by what they saw when they
watched this tape. This is the very same thing that happens in shelters across this land daily, perhaps right down the
street from where those people live. We can hardly condemn the makers of that tape for being barbaric, etc., when the
very same method of torture and death occurs anywhere in our country, and particularly in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
Quote:
VIRGINIA ANIMAL POUNDS AND SHELTERS
USING A CARBON MONOXIDE GAS CHAMBER*

SOUTHWEST VIRGINIA REGION
Franklin County (Rocky Mount)
City of Vinton (Vinton)
Scott County (Gate City)
City of Salem (Salem)
Pulaski County (Dublin)
Montgomery County (Christiansburg)
City of Martinsville (Martinsville)
Lee County (Jonesville)
Floyd County (Floyd)
Buchanan County (Grundy)
Wythe County (Wytheville)

LYNCHBURG REGION
Appomattox County (Appomattox)
Bath County (Warm Springs)
Buckingham County (Buckingham)
Charlotte County (Charlotte Courthouse)
Chesterfield County (Chesterfield)
Cumberland County (Cumberland)
Prince Edward County (Farmville)
Pittsylvania County (Dry Fork)

EASTERN VIRGINIA REGION
Emporia/Greensville County (Emporia)
Henrico County (Richmond)
New Kent County (New Kent)
Prince George County (Petersburg)
Southampton County (Courtland)
Sussex County (Sussex)
Gloucester-Mathews Humane Society (Gloucester)

HARRISONBURG REGION
Charlottesville/Albemarle County (Charlottesville)**
*Information provided by the Virginia Office of the State Veterinarian
**Gas chamber located inside; all others are located outside

And the list goes on and on............I cannot believe it. I am so mad about this I am shaking. There are many many states using inhumane euthanasia. It is a disgrace.
Ianthe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-06-2004, 06:28 AM   #5 (permalink)
Sol
Cat Addict
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Sweden
Posts: 1,755
Default

I would say that shooting is humane if done right and so is euttanasia if the proper meds are used and it's done right so I don't reallt care what method they use as long as it's a painless death for the animal.

All other ways of killing cats are unacceptable (for me) and in Swedens it's illegal to kill a cat with any other method than shooting or euthanasia (done by a vet). However it is allowed to kill kittens under the age of eight days by smashing their heads with something hard and solid... done correctly they should die instantly.
Sol is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-06-2004, 07:13 AM   #6 (permalink)
Cat
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 139
Default

When we have had to put kittens out of their misery due to disease, we have shot them. I personally can't do it, but last time my mother and father went out behind the barn and my mother held the kittens (there were two that had to be put down) while my father shot them.

It's quick, and they don't feel it if it's done properly (if you've never shot a gun before, get someone who has experience to do it....they will know what kind of gun and where to shoot, how, etc). It's hard to do emotionally, though, and my mother came back crying and while my father isn't one to show emotion around others, his silence (broken only by a sigh of "Well, that's it then" before he went to bury them) told me it's not any better for him.

I think this is the main reason shooting isn't done. That, and guns are usually associated with negative things like wars and murders. It looks much better to the general public if it's done "doctor-like", with needles or gas, and so we assume it's more humane. Doesn't necessarily mean it is.

In some cases, I think it's better than trying to get them to a vet, if the transportation will only cause them pain. Also, mentally it may be easier for it to be held and shot by people it trusts than dragged to a vet where it's scared by the sounds and smells.

And though the thought of it makes me cry, if/when Mammers becomes sick enough to need to be put down I will strongly consider this option. He's so terrified of the vet and of strangers in general that I think me holding/petting him and my father (or other family member he trusts that could do it properly) shooting him would make his last moments calming instead of terrifying.....and that, along with it being quick and painless, is what really matters.
Luftballoons is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-06-2004, 12:07 PM   #7 (permalink)
Premier Cat
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 5,106
Default

I just wanted to say that we put our Rottie to sleep on June 8th and we stayed with her and held her during and after the injection. I was told that it was basically a higher dose of anesthetic and that they go to sleep the same way and just don't wake up from it.

I think the process took just over a minute. It was quiet and did appear painless. Her last look at us was the first time in a long time where she actually looked to be relieved. She'd been suffering probably longer than we knew and I really desperatly want to believe that she knew we were trying to relieve her from the pain she was in. I think she did.

Her breathing got slower within 30 seconds of the injection and the movement less visible at which time the doctor listened to her heart and told us she was "gone". It was quick. I don't think she felt ANY pain, I truly think we saw her relief in that last 30 seconds before she expired. Having experienced it first hand, I do think that this is a humane way to euthanize an animal.

It was the hardest thing I've ever had to do and I am in tears after writing this, we stayed in that room for almost 30 minutes just petting her and telling her how much we loved her (as if she was listening) and how sorry we were...but I DO really think it was painless.

Gas "chambers" sound terrible. Absolutely terrible. I have never held a gun in my hand in my life nor have I seen the effects of anyone or anything being shot..so I can't comment on what that might be like.
AddFran is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-06-2004, 02:15 PM   #8 (permalink)
Cat
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: united kingdom
Posts: 189
Default why kill at all

In the UK most of our shelters are no kill with one exception,they mostly do their damness to keep animals alive ,whatever age,colour, and most do it with charitable donations .
The exception is the largest charity who will kill off animals if they are too old the wrong colour (black or black and white),or if it will be to expensive to treat when ill ,this charity is now in the process of taking over the prosecutions in animal abuse cases when the new animal rights laws come in .


hypercritical or what!!!!!
roger Davis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-06-2004, 02:33 PM   #9 (permalink)
Cool Cat
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Garden State
Posts: 1,315
Default

this is sooo sad to read...
RarePuss is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-06-2004, 05:26 PM   #10 (permalink)
Premier Cat
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Folsom, CA
Posts: 5,098
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by AddFran
I just wanted to say that we put our Rottie to sleep on June 8th and we stayed with her and held her during and after the injection. I was told that it was basically a higher dose of anesthetic and that they go to sleep the same way and just don't wake up from it.

I think the process took just over a minute. It was quiet and did appear painless. Her last look at us was the first time in a long time where she actually looked to be relieved. She'd been suffering probably longer than we knew and I really desperatly want to believe that she knew we were trying to relieve her from the pain she was in. I think she did.

Her breathing got slower within 30 seconds of the injection and the movement less visible at which time the doctor listened to her heart and told us she was "gone". It was quick. I don't think she felt ANY pain, I truly think we saw her relief in that last 30 seconds before she expired. Having experienced it first hand, I do think that this is a humane way to euthanize an animal.

It was the hardest thing I've ever had to do and I am in tears after writing this, we stayed in that room for almost 30 minutes just petting her and telling her how much we loved her (as if she was listening) and how sorry we were...but I DO really think it was painless.

Gas "chambers" sound terrible. Absolutely terrible. I have never held a gun in my hand in my life nor have I seen the effects of anyone or anything being shot..so I can't comment on what that might be like.

First of all, I am sorry for your loss. Veterinarians use a very high-quality formula of the mediacations used to put animals to sleep.....for the exact reason that it causes a peaceful, painless, quick death. Unfortunately, many animal shelters use a much different medication/poison to inject the animals with because it is much cheaper....but it also can cause a slow, painful, scary death for the animal
Ianthe is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -4. The time now is 12:30 PM.



Powered by vBulletin® Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
SEO by vBSEO 3.3.2
PetGuide.com
Basset Hound Forum Doberman Forum Golden Retriever Forum Beagle Forum
Boxer Forum Dog Forum Pit Bull Forum Poodle Forum
Bulldog Forum Fish Forum Havanese Forum Maltese Forum
Cat Forum German Shepherd Forum Labradoodle Forum Yorkie Forum Hedgehog Forum
Chihuahua Forum Retriever Breeds Cichlid Forum Dart Frog Forum Mice Breeder Forum