Petition Closed
Petitioning AVMA Board Member Clark Fobian, DVM and 10 others

Tell the American Veterinary Medical Association: Stop Supporting Gas Chambers


The National Animal Control Association recently adopted a new guideline for euthanasia, which says: "NACA considers lethal injection of sodium pentobarbital, administered by competent, trained personnel, to be the only method of choice utilized for humane euthanasia of animal shelter dogs and cats ... NACA condemns the use of carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, nitrogen, nitrous oxide, argon, or anesthetic gases as well as physical methods such as electrocution, gunshot, and blunt force trauma for animal shelter euthanasia of dogs and cats."

While the ultimate goal is to have no more homeless pets, as long as there are still animals being euthanized at shelters, it should be done humanely. As NACA says in their new policy: "It is the responsibility of those performing euthanasia to use the best method now available and to use it with skill, compassion, and consistency."

Gas chambers take an average of thirty minutes to kill an animal. It's a slow death and can be painful. Most shelters cram multiple animals into gas chambers, causing panic and often fighting during the process. Employees at facilities where animals are gassed often speak of wearing earplugs to shut out the screaming. Some animals, like Quentin of Stray Rescue fame, come out of the gas chamber alive, amidst piles of dead bodies.

Lethal injections work much faster, are much less painful, and the last thing the animal knows is being the arms of a human.

Yet the American Veterinary Medical Association continues to support gas chambers: "Carbon monoxide used for individual animals or mass euthanasia is acceptable for dogs, cats, and other small mammals, provided the commercially compressed CO is used." 

Tell the AVMA to join NACA in condemning gas chambers and recommending lethal injection as the only humane form of euthanasia.

Photo credit: lisadragon

Letter to
AVMA Board Member Clark Fobian, DVM
AVMA Board Member Thomas Meyer, DVM
AVMA Vice Chair Theodore Cohn, DVM
and 8 others
AVMA Board Member Larry Dee, DVM
AVMA Board Member John Scamahorn, DVM
AVMA Board Member Janver Krehbiel, DVM
AVMA Board Member Joseph Kinnarney, DVM
AVMA Board Member John DeJong
AVMA Chair John Brooks, DVM
AVMA Board Member H. Theodor Trimmer, DVM
AVMA Board Member V. Hugh "Chip" Price, Jr., DVM
I recently learned on Change.org that the National Animal Control Association has adopted a new guideline for euthanasia, which condemns the use of carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, nitrogen, nitrous oxide, argon or anesthetic gases for animal shelter euthanasia, and states that, "NACA considers lethal injection of sodium pentobarbital, administered by competent, trained personnel, to be the only method of choice utilized for humane euthanasia of animal shelter dogs and cats."

The guideline continues: "Sodium Pentobarbital meets more of the criteria set by the American Veterinary Medical Association Panel on Euthanasia than any other method of euthanasia. Until a more sophisticated method meeting all the criteria are met, it is the responsibility of those performing euthanasia to use the best method now available and to use it with skill, compassion, and consistency."

Yet, it is my understanding that the AVMA continues to support gas chambers using commercially compressed CO as an "appropriate" method of euthanasia.

Gas chambers take an average of thirty minutes to kill an animal. It's a slow death and can be painful. Most shelters cram multiple animals into gas chambers, causing panic and often fighting during the process. Employees at facilities where animals are gassed often speak of wearing earplugs to shut out the screaming. Some animals come out of the gas chamber alive, amidst piles of dead bodies.

Lethal injections work much faster, are much less painful, and the last thing the animal knows is being the arms of a human. Until we achieve the goal of no more homeless pets, the last thing we can give animals being euthanized in shelters is a quick, humane death.

I urge you to join NACA in adopting a new guideline that condemns gas chambers and acknowledges lethal injection as the only humane form of euthanasia.