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Utah News

Animal advocates hold protest to ban gas chamber euthanasia

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KUTV
Photo of a poster being held up protesting the act of gas chamber euthanasia.

Lining up outside the Pleasant Grove Police Department on Thursday, animal advocates protested the act of gas chamber euthanasia.

Holding up signs calling for a ban on the practice, attendees of the protest were inspired to act following the euthanization of a dog named Penguin earlier this month. Heather Smith of Michigan says that her mom wanted to adopt Penguin only to find out that he was killed before he could be rehomed. The shelter told Smith that the dog started to act aggressive and he was euthanized as a result.

Smith runs her own dog rescue organization and says that she constantly works with aggressive dogs, saying that they don’t randomly become aggressive in just a few weeks.

While gas chamber euthanasia at animal shelters is rare, Utah is still one of the handful of states that allows the practice. Tug Gettling, director of the North Utah Valley Animal Shelter, one of the two shelters in the state that still uses the gas euthanasia procedure, has been quoted saying that the method is safer for employees.

Despite this, the director has said he’d commit to phasing out the gas chamber according to local animal advocate Connie Whiting. Unfortunately, Gettling hasn’t gotten around to dismantling the chamber, leading Whiting and other advocates to attend the protest.

The shelter confirmed in a board meeting last month that it meets the requirements to purchase equipment for injection euthanasia. Last August, they said that they are committed to making the transition towards that procedure instead.