The Death of P-22
News and headlines for December 18 - December 30, 2022
These are some of the stories making headlines in animal protection:
“The director of a Utah County animal shelter said Wednesday that the facility is now using injection as its sole mode of euthanasia… [T]he shelter’s two gas chambers have been disconnected, and the carbon monoxide cylinders have been removed.”
While that is good news and should be celebrated, it is not enough. “At the North Utah Valley Animal Shelter [NUVAS], failing a ‘temperament test’ is essentially a death sentence for cats. A cat can ‘fail’ the shelter’s temperament test by… hiding in the corner of its kennel.” Many are killed the same day they come in.
All of these cats are scared, not “aggressive.” And aggressive is a misnomer. After allowing them time to calm down or overcome their fear, cats who are not social with people should be sterilized and released, not killed.
The Utah pound’s policy of killing cats is not only obscene, it should be illegal. It is also not surprising. The shelter kills animals, despite rescue groups ready, willing, and able to save them, including Penguin (pictured here) who staff described as “very friendly” who “loves attention” and “loves to be pet!”
While the method of killing is important, and in eliminating the gas chamber, NUVAS went from the 19th century to the 20th century, it must now be forced to embrace the No Kill Equation and join us in the 21st.
Likewise, legislation to ban the gas chamber has been passed in Ohio. The Governor is expected to sign it.
Although no Ohio “shelters” use gas to kill animals, the legislation ensures “that gas chambers will never again be used in the state.”
Webster’s dictionary defines euthanasia as “the act or practice of killing or permitting the death of hopelessly sick or injured individuals in a relatively painless way for reasons of mercy.” Unfortunately, in many animal shelters across the nation, animals are not being killed because they are hopelessly sick or injured, but rather out of convenience. In fact, millions of healthy and treatable animals needlessly lose their lives in our nation’s shelters every year, and for many of them, their lives are taken not in a “relatively painless” way, but in one of the most prolonged and excruciating ways possible: the gas chamber.
But not in Ohio, not anymore.
For those who live in a county or state where the gas chamber is still used, The No Kill Advocacy Center, my organization, has model legislation to ban it, a step-by-step guide to getting it passed, and No Kill Advocacy Center attorneys stand ready to help.
“Following outrage from residents, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors is looking into the events that led to a 3-month-old puppy being accidentally euthanized earlier this month.”
The Los Angeles County Department of Animal Care & Control calls it a mistake, but it isn't. “Accidental” killings of beloved pets happen every day in shelters in this country. It’s not a “mistake” when it happens over and over again. While nothing can bring the dog back, we must work to ensure that this kind of tragedy never happens again. And we do that by firing those involved and making the killing of healthy and treatable animals illegal.
New York Governor Kathy Hochul recently signed S6870B into law. The law creates a new justification for killing animals in New York pounds — “mental suffering.” The Governor signed the bill, despite rescuers, shelter reform advocates, and others urging her to veto it. The No Kill Advocacy Center also wrote and asked her to reject it.
Ignoring animal lovers, she not only consigned shy animals, scared animals, feral cats, and any other animals shelters want to claim are in psychological pain to death. She also introduced a first-of-its-kind, dangerous precedent into the animal control laws of our nation. Other jurisdictions and individual shelters will emulate the practice, and it will kill animals for years to come.