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Sandy City Removes Animal Shelter Gas Chamber but Several More in Utah Remain

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Sandy City has removed the carbon monoxide gas chamber at its animal services facility. Back in September, the Sandy City Council voted unanimously to remove the gas chamber at the facility and make it a no-kill shelter. The carbon monoxide chamber was dismantled late last month.

The Humane Society of the United States provided a $3,000 grant to help cover the costs and provide training on the use of euthanasia by injection, or EBI. A Sandy resident matched that $3,000 grant and an anonymous donor gave the shelter another $2,000.

Deann Shepherd with the Humane Society of Utah notes that just because a shelter says it is no-kill doesn’t mean it won’t use euthanasia at all.

“They will not kill an adoptable, healthy animal if it can be placed into a positive outcome,” she says. “Whereas euthanizing, they understand at least 10 percent of the animal population that comes into shelters are extremely ill, injured, they’re suffering and euthanasia is a mercy shown to those animals.”

While much of the country has banned and shifted away from using gas chambers for euthanasia, seven still operate in Utah—nearly a quarter of total shelter gas chambers in the United States. Shepherd says the Humane Society of Utah is trying to figure out why this state is bucking the trend.

“It’s not a matter of access to the drug or training because a lot of the rural shelters in Utah do utilize EBI only,” she says.

Those gas chambers are located at shelters in Carbon County, Draper, South Jordan, north Utah County south Utah County, Weber County, and the West Valley-Taylorsville area.

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