Dogs Being Burned Alive At Ohio Shelter

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Animal advocates have been trying to put an end to gas chamber euthanization at the Fairfield County Dog Shelter near Lancaster, Ohio. Two of the county’s three Commissioners have postponed the vote, even when presented with eyewitness accounts that dogs are coming out of the gas chamber still alive and are thrown into the incinerator along with the dead animals.

Dogs are being burned alive in Ohio.

This week, about 100 people packed the Commissioners’ hearing room to speak to decision makers about discontinuing the inhumane practice. Animal welfare advocates want the county Commissioners to start using lethal injection instead. Fairfield County is among approximately ten of the eighty-eight Ohio counties that still use the gas chamber to kill county-shelter dogs, according to the Ohio Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and the Ohio County Dog Wardens Association.

Related:  Second Witness Speaks Out Against Ohio Dog Burning Shelter

Commissioner Steve Davis said that he is in favor of changing the policy from gassing to injection. He was the only Commissioner to speak to protestors and thank them for coming to the meeting. He planned to vote on the measure this week, however, Commissioners Mike Kiger and Judy Shupe said they wanted more time to make a decision. Voting was postponed, likely for two weeks. The two Commissioners cited a desire to examine cost and other factors before voting.

Related:  Former Warden Speaks Out Against Ohio Dog Burning Shelter

Commissioner Kiger attended a gassing at the shelter, but still thought the practice was humane. For those who have never witnessed euthanization by gassing, film footage of gas chamber use is included with this article. Although it is not footage from the Fairfield shelter, it is representative of the process.

Published on 3 Jul 2012 by 

WARNING: Graphic.
This scene was taken from “One Nation Under Dog.”
This, in most states, is what happens when a shelter is too full and must dispose of dogs. This isn’t something that was filmed decades ago and no longer exists. This hasn’t changed. This, is probably going on as you read and watch this clip.
Overpopulation of pets is because of one: people don’t spay and neuter their pets, and so they reproduce and have litters with nowhere to go, and two: because people keep buying pets from pet stores.

It is clearly apparent that animals that are gassed suffer emotional and physical distress during the procedure, even when the procedure is carried out correctly – which hasn’t always been the case at the Fairfield shelter.

Although the dog warden maintains that he euthanizes 4 to 6 dogs at a time, a former deputy dog warden and a WEP worker both signed affadavits describing very different experiences. Both employees witnessed the overloading of the chamber, which should hold a maximum of six animals for the gassing to work properly. Both stated that they had seen twelve to sixteen dogs in the euthanization cage at once, more than double the recommended limit.

The former deputy said she had witnessed dogs removed from the chamber who were not dead, and the cage was put through a second cycle. She added that this was often the case with puppies who were too young to be gassed because of their immature respiratory development. She stated that the director of the shelter was instructed to purchase stethoscopes to check for heartbeats, but that he had never carried through.

Two witnesses stood up at the meeting saying they had seen dogs come out of the gas chamber that were not dead and that were thrown into the incinerator still alive. Perhaps that is not surprising since employees as untrained as the WEP worker were forced to do the gassing. Apparently, Commissioners Kiger and Shupe don’t find the thought of animals burned alive disturbing enough to shut down the gas chamber.

Animal advocates started a petition to discontinue gassing at the facility which received 7,000 signatures, but the Commissioners shut off their email accounts because they were “tired of receiving the messages.” The only way to contact Commissioners and voice concern is by phone: 740-652-7090 / 614-322-5260, FAX: 740-687-6048 or mail: 210 East Main Street. Room 301 — Lancaster, Ohio 43130

According to the website, to kill an animal by carbon monoxide poisoning costs $4.98 per animal versus $2.29 per animal by lethal injection (EBI=Euthanasia By Injection). The argument to continue gassing can only be made as a means of convenience, since a group of animals can be done at once, as opposed to individually by injection.

Amy Bogart, with the Humane Society of the United States, said if the only thing preventing the county from going to a lethal injection form of euthanasia is the cost of training, her organization is willing to pay the cost of the training and setup.

The Fairfield County Dog Shelter has already euthanized 183 dogs this year. In 2011, the county euthanized 578 dogs. These numbers represent about 50% of the shelter’s intake.

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PHOTOS | Two Days and Five Dogs to Go – Dogs Will Be Killed

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“I’m praying by now that all the dogs have been adopted out, if anyone lives in that area & can give a dog a home, please go to the shelter asap. No dogs should have to die for pest control!”

5p.m. UPDATE: 5 Dogs Left.

As nearly everyone in the midstate area knows by now, Macon Animal Control is scheduled to close for 3 to 5 days for pest control. When the shelter closes at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, any dog left will have to be killed, please visit the link below to look at the pictures of the dogs left.

Shelter staff, area rescuers and potential adopters in the area have come through for all of the cats and nearly all of the dogs. Out of around 90 animals at the shelter when the shutdown was ordered, only 9 dogs remain.

Central Georgia CARES and AC Pup attended the Macon Police Department Family Fun Fest last Friday with some of the Pound Pals, and opened the shelter for adoptions the following day. Several were adopted or rescued, leaving only nine.

In all of middle Georgia, surely there are nine homes available. There is nothing “wrong” with shelter dogs, and certainly not with the nine hopefuls still at the shelter, as you can see from their Fun Fest photos.

AC Pup posted a last-ditch plea on his Facebook page Sunday night:

Remember when you were at recess in school & it was time to choose sides for dodge ball? Were you ever the last one chosen? Did you stand there & watch while all your friends were selected even though you knew you could be a good player if someone just gave you a chance? Well imagine how my 9 remaining Pound Pals feel after watching their kennel mates chosen for adoption. They know they would be really great family members too if someone just gave them the chance. Their chance ends June 6. Macon Animal Control opens at 8:30 Monday morning.

The dogs in the photo gallery are the nine remaining dogs. Some of them were at Fun Fest and their pictures were taken by Karen Brooks Sutherland. The other photos are by Donna Arledge Segelken, who routinely spends her own time, money and effort to get photos of the adoptable animals at MAC, and Shane Smith, who engineered two “pardons” to make the shelter no-kill for a full week and has rescued many animals from MAC.

Take a look at the photos, then hurry down to the shelter to meet these wonderful dogs. It’s amazing how they blossom as soon as they’re taken from their dark, dingy kennels and led out the front door.

Macon Animal Control is open from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Some assistance may be available to defray the $75 adoption fee (which includes spay/neuter surgery and a rabies shot). Ask when  you’re ready to adopt if there is any sponsorship or donation help. Call the shelter at 751-9200 for more information. Please be patient, as the shelter is still extremely busy networking and trying to get the last nine souls saved.

The shelter is at 1010 Eleventh Street, off Lower Poplar, behind the landfill office.

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