Georgia Dept. Of Agriculture Breaks Law On Gas Chambers Used In Animal Shelters

Gas ChamberThe Georgia Department of Agriculture has been found to be in contempt for allowing gas chambers to kill unwanted animals at the Cobb County Animal Shelter.

The judge in the case said he will remove the citation if the Department of Agriculture rescinds its approval of the gas chamber used at the animal shelter.

The 1990 Georgia Humane Euthanasia Act bans the use of carbon monoxide gas chambers to euthanize animals. Animal shelters are required to use lethal injection, with the exception of specific counties with low population and shelters already using gas chambers.

PETA first filed a lawsuit against the Agriculture Department in March for violating the state law by approving the use of gas chambers at the Cobb County Animal Shelter. They went after the state agency instead of local governments to cause changes among shelters statewide.

A PETA spokeswoman said the Agriculture Department was not enforcing the 1990 law and that many shelters throughout the state were unaware of the legislation.

According to Stopping Pet Overpopulation Together Inc., more than 80,000 pets were killed in shelters in 17 metro Atlanta counties in 2005. Shelters in the metro Atlanta area euthanize more pets than all of Great Britain.

A veterinarian who has worked with the Cobb County Animal Shelter said some shelter managers say gas chambers are the most humane and cost effective way to euthanize animals.

“You talk to these shelter managers, who say, ‘It is the most economical thing to do. We don’t have much of a budget. We don’t have skilled employees and we have all these animals who nobody is getting,’ ” he stated.

He also added lethal injections could also be inhumane if the poison wasn’t injected directly into the animal’s vein.

Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution

(Thanks Irene)

19 Responses to “Georgia Dept. Of Agriculture Breaks Law On Gas Chambers Used In Animal Shelters”

  1. catmom5 says:

    I have, fortunately, not had a personal experience with gas chambers, but I have read of them. One particularly poignant article was written by a shelter worker who was in chanrge of gassing the animals each Friday. He was having an awful time dealing with the horrors of it. I had nightmares for weeks after reading his article.
    Gassing is not humane! There is no other way to say it. This is one time I support PETA 100%! Gas chambers should be outlawed PERIOD in every county and state in this country. BTW, I believe I also read that it really is MORE expensive than death by injection.
    I hope this means some changes for the poor animals who, through no fault of their own, have no home.
    I also hope that Atlanta takes a good long look at themselves and the numbers of animals they kill each year. More than all of Great Britain? There is no reason for that happening . . .

  2. Nora and Rufus says:

    I sadly saw a video of the gassing of dogs at a “Shelter” in the Carolina’s and it is absolutely horrid the way these animals die. IT IS NOT HUMANE IN ANY WAY. To see the looks on their faces and pitiful helpless whining seeming to know what was coming and the struggling when they were carried to the box and the screams and yelping of the dogs as they died was just to awful to hear and although about 10 dogs were hidden in a large black box as they were gassed, they had to be thrashing and jumping hitting the top of the box attempting to escape. It was the most horrible thing imaginable. I cannot get the cries of those poor dogs out of my mind and it is something I will NEVER forget. This is a horrible way for any animal to be put down. The following article re: Nathan Winograd’s book “Redemption” is where I strongly stand.

  3. Poodleluv says:

    When I first saw this article, I was surprised…..until I continued reading and saw the word ‘Georgia’. I’m telling you, in Georgia you either love animals or have absolutely no sense or understanding of them and just dont think of an animal as a creature that feels the same pain and just dont care.
    I have wanted someone to come in and do something about the animal laws and welfare of animals in Georgia for a long time.
    One person in Georgia can do absolutly nothing, I’ve learned and its impossible to get anyone to listen to you.
    Everyone thinks your an animal loving freak with no sense if you try to report dog fighting. Until recently thank God. Vick opened a few eyes around here finally.

    But, places like Hawkinsville Georgia have NO animal shelter, or humane society, and still gas dogs and cats WITH car exhaust fumes to an unventilated room or shoot them on the spot (police officers do this)
    NOT kidding. I personally know an officer that told me this. SO, what do you do in a little town like that.

    I wish I could get an organization to come to Georgia an CLEAN HOUSE through the whole state….

  4. Carol Johnson says:

    I have heard so many negative comments about how Georgia treats animals….I am sure other states are as bad….but gas chambers should be outlawed…they care legalized animal torture.

    Carbon monoxide kills by binding to the red blood cells and reducing the oxygen flow to the brain…neither fast or painless.

  5. John says:

    Well, if there’s any group that’s expert on the killing of domestic pets, it’s PETA. God knows they’ve killed enough.

  6. NH says:

    That is one sad story. How can anybody do that job? They would have to be nuts…or go nuts. You couldn’t pay me gazzillons of dollars to do it.

    RIP gassed pups. :(

  7. Trudy Jackson says:

    Yes, they do it here in North Carolina. all the time. and even the shelter workers tell Me how horrible it is for the animals.

  8. Stefani says:

    Leave it to a veterinarian to cite how “economical” and “cost effective” is a method to kill animals. Leave it to a veterinarian to DEFEND the use of gas chambers. In their hearts, they know it’s inhumane (how could they not?) but they DON’T CARE — It’s all about margin to many of these freaks. These people get paid a lot more money to stand up and make public statements defending INHUMANE slaughter methods then they do caring for our pets, and they never forget that. Follow the money, there is no morality or “caring” for animals in their positions.

    As I posted here before, I once worked at a vets office (in the 80s) where I learned they used a gas chamber to euthanize cats. The psycho vet assistant who they had doing the after-hours killing (you really can’t call it euthanasia, because euthanasia means “good death,” and it certainly was not . ..) came out of that back room cackling psychotically about how the cats struggled and fought in there as they were being gassed. Of course, that was one of the final straws for my very short employment stint at this unethical place.

    Based on that, I am certain these gas chambers are NOT humane. And if they are making it as “econimical” as possible then they are putting multiple animals in there, to struggle and scratch and freak out crawling all over each other in hysteria.

    Gas chambers are widely recognized as inhumane execution methods for humans– it is no different for animals.

    Let’s just not forget where so many veterinarians stand on this issue — on the WRONG side of the issue.

    But that’s no surprise.

    The AVMA considers foie gras production humane, too. All about $$$$$$$$$$$.

    An animal is worth something to many of them ONLY if, by exploiting our attachment to them, they can get richer. Otherwise, if no one loves the animal, MANY of them don’t care.

    The Toonces Project
    “Is Your Pet Safe at the Vet?”

  9. L.B. says:

    I also support PETA 100% for this. Their position & actions on certain issues may be way off, but in many other ways (such as this) they do a whole lot of good for a whole lot of animals.

  10. Lynn says:

    High five to PETA.

    I HAVE witnessed killing by gas chamber when it was legal in CA back in the 70’s. I threw up for weeks. I will never forget it or the animals in the chamber. [I was part of a group lobbying for death by lethal injection - this was part of my “training.”]

    Someone really needs to get rid of every single chamber on this planet. Melt them all down.

    How could anyone work at a job using these chambers? It takes a person who puts no value on animal life to work in a job like this. They are the lowest paid personnel and have dubious backgrounds. It’s the job no one wants. Wouldn’t want to be caught in a dark alley with any of them.

    That “good ole boy” mentality should be melted down, too.

  11. Lynn says:

    Check this out/

  12. Jenny Bark says:

    I agree with all of you. I don’t belong to PETA or give them any money but on this one I will at least support them with my words. PETA is doing the right thing this time.

    Poodleluv, I really agree with you except it is not just Georga. There are other states & places that will kill a dog or cat with a car or truck exhaust or police officers shoot the babies even if there are shelters (both kill & no Kill) around them. It’s wrong, ugly & i believe painful. We HAD a friend, a police officer who USE to kill time at our house drinking coffee. He told us there was no reason for a cat to be on this earth, they are useless except for target pratice. Wrong thing to say to us, the only way he can come to our house now is with a warrent.

    Stefani, I’m with you all the way. I have no respect for the AVMA or some vets. They could have stopped this & other things as well but they don’t, only thing that counts is $. They could have been there for the animals & pet parents when everything was & still is happening with the food. Instead they keep telling us to feed the food untill it’s recalled (only 1%bad) and don’t home feed. No respect for the FDA or AVMA, they are not for people or animals period. Imo a lot of the good vets are thinking the same way.

    Nora & Rufus, we think the same on this one. Nathan Winograd & no kill shelters is what I support with my words & what $ I have. It should be the law that all kill shelters have to have their books, with all information, open to the public.

  13. Gianna59 says:

    County employees are just that. It’s the regulating state agency that needs to take the fall for the above issue. Two years back working on GA kitty rescues in an highly congested, high kill county shelter that uses Gas, the use of the chamber was discussed. A former employer of this specific AC did remark that when they did use lethal inject it was worse as they were apparently not injecting it appropriately–this was my understanding.

    At any rate, the methods and mis-methods per say are not the only issues in this state with regard to animal welfare, county shelters, animal over-population, etc. Maybe all animal-related state, county, and private entities need to sit at the round table and evaluate, rectify, revise, correct, improve the animal state of affairs TOGETHER as a cohesive group in the same room at the same time so positive change can result as the magnitude of the problem warrants a massive effort.

    Really though, not only is the gas chamber a disgrace, but the mis-use and abuse of it is utterly appalling and quite disgusting. Follow in step with your southern neighbors like Florida. Florida has indeed dismantled their gas chamber once and for all and is making good efforts to improve the operations of county animal “service” shelters and make them more user friendly for both people and the animals.

  14. Jennifer Johnson says:

    Gas chambers are for criminals, not helpless animals! Pass HB1060 today. This is the only humane thing to do.

  15. ga dept of agriculture says:

    […] Department in March for violating the state law. They went after the state agency instead ……NASS - Georgia Reports and Statistics… Information. NASS publications cover a wide range of […]

  16. Victoria says:

    I know that unwanted animals get gaased.We want them to live.Nobody could pay me enough money to do that job and i don’t know why ppl would do that.I want to help them and i want many ppl to help me to save them.Any one who does this job are stupid dumb ppl and i know they won’t like it if they got trapped in a box and gassed by poison.if any one wants to help me save unwanted animals from being gassed please e-mail me at

    thanxs from,
    Victoria && animals of the world

  17. SickOfAg says:

    I’m almost betting that if Irvin, Green and Greene were made to sit and watch this process just one time….. they would immediately take action to amend the rules re using gas chambers in Georgia.

    Then again…… maybe not.

  18. Edel Sosa says:

    This is not right for this animals they should be love not killed in gas chambers.This is not good at all how would you like it 2 b there This need 2 stop so many animals get kill 4 so many reason like(FUR,Euthanasia,&Animal testing)This needs 2 stop.Some ppl think this is very dumb but is not jus picture u were a animals going through this how would u feel huh???Knowing dat u can talk & speak 2 them.How would u tell them 2 stop.So plz speak up this animals that need us now more then ever.LET BE THERE VOICE.I’m a animAL LoVeR siinCe 1991.Luagh all u ppl want ppl don’t even care cause i care less wat ya think.

    Animals i’m hea 4 u
    Mickey this what i’m doing is 4 u.Luv u 4 ever.=]

  19. reality says:

    Cobb County, as of May 2009, is STILL using the gas chamber. Their county should be
    renamed “Lit’l Auschwitz of Ga.”

    And Ag? They should be renamed to “Animal NonProtection Division”

    No, on second thought - Ga’s Ag Animal Protection needs to just be dissolved. They are
    a waste of taxpayer’s money.

E-mail It