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Letter: Bill championing humane euthanasia at animal shelters is a good move

Published: Monday, March 4 2013 12:00 a.m. MST

Tearsa Smalling of Magna looks for a new dog at West Valley City Animal Services on Thursday, Feb. 28, 2013. More adoptions means fewer shelter animals get euthanized. HB150 would prohibit, with certain exceptions, an animal shelter from using carbon monoxide gas to euthanize an animal.

Laura Seitz, Deseret News

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Thanks to Rep. Angela Romero for championing HB150, which would restrict the use of gas chambers in animal shelters. Death is neither quick nor painless for dogs and cats who are gassed. It can take as long as 30 minutes for an animal to die a slow agonizing death and some animals must be repeatedly gassed.

Euthanasia by injection, in contrast, is always effective, painless and more cost-effective. This is why the American Veterinary Medical Association, the National Animal Control Association and the Association of Shelter Veterinarians all agree that euthanasia by injection is the preferred method of euthanasia for dogs and cats. More than 20 other states also agree and have already banned the gas chamber.

Like most Utahns, I look forward to the day when shelters no longer have to euthanize so many animals. But this sad reality is inevitable until we implement robust spay and neuter laws and ensure people adopt from shelters rather than purchase from pet stores or breeders. For those animals who are the victims of this tragic overpopulation crisis, the least we can afford them is the most painless and peaceful death possible — not a gas chamber.

Amy Meyer

Salt Lake City

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