We shoot the pets that don’t get adopted and when we run out of bullets, we run over the rest... This extraordinarily cruel and inhumane treatment is how homeless pets are handled in Hinckley and other towns like Blanding and Monticello in Utah. Cats and dogs are held for only 72 hours in the local "shelter" and then taken to a nearby open sewer pit where they are shot. If they run out of bullets the animals are run over by a vehicle. In some communities, cats are drowned or beaten to death.
The mayor of Hinckley says it’s efficient, cost-effective, and perfectly legal. Neighbors have reported that the pets are not always dead when they’re thrown in the pit and some have crawled onto nearby properties to die a slow, painful death. Jed, shown in the photo (courtesy HWAC), is a six-month old puppy who luckily managed to escape such a brutal outcome.
In a previous attempt to enact statewide standards, Utah senators wanted to allow gas chambers as an acceptable alternative to lethal injection, and grant exemptions to standards for contract killers hired by Utah shelters. They obviously have not heard animals' cries, clawing and violent reactions reported by shelter workers who operate gas chambers. Animals are hardwired to fight or flight whenever they encounter a life threatening situation, making death in a gas chamber doubly cruel. Nor have Utah senators learned that exposure to carbon monoxide by shelter workers causes permanent neuromuscular and internal organ damage.
Tell the State of Utah that enacting statewide legislation for the ethical and humane management of homeless pets is long overdue and that gas chambers are not an acceptable alternative. All Utah communities must be held to a higher, acceptable standard.
I am writing to bring to your attention a matter that requires immediate redress. In Hinckley, and towns like it in the State of Utah, local officials are employing an archaic and cruel form of animal control.
Cats and dogs that find themselves homeless in so-called "shelters" are held for only 72 hours. Those that are not reclaimed within the unreasonably short amount of time are taken to a nearby mass burial site where they are brutally shot. Reportedly not all animals are even dead when they are thrown into the pit. Some have crawled onto nearby properties to die a slow, painful death. In some community shelters, cats are drowned or beaten to death.
How does an animal control facility call itself a shelter and then take such inhumane actions to deal with orphaned pets? The mayor of Hinckley has stated that it’s efficient, cost-effective, and legal. It is incomprehensible that any human being, especially locally elected or appointed officials, would think that such actions are acceptable.
I urge you to support legislation that standardizes ethical and humane practices, which does not include gas chambers, for handling homeless pets statewide. Communities across the great State of Utah must be held to a higher, acceptable standard. It is time that someone finally stands up and says that this is not right.
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