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Humane euthanasia

Gas chambers have no place in our nation’s public or private animal shelters. They cannot provide a truly humane (pain- and stress-free) euthanasia for any animal; they are more expensive than the humane alternative, euthanasia by injection; they pose risk of injury and even death to shelter staff; and they have been condemned for routine shelter euthanasia by the AVMA, as well as by The HSUS, NACA and every other national animal welfare organization. See what The HSUS is doing to eliminate gas chambers from our nation’s shelters. Read the HSUS Statement on Gas Chambers and view the use of gas chambers by state. 

  • Closing the door on the gas chamber

    We’re all working toward a world where no healthy, adoptable animal has to be euthanized, and statistics show we’re succeeding. But until we reach our goal, we owe shelter animals a compassionate end of life. Most outdated, inhumane euthanasia methods exist only in history books, but gas chambers are an exception. The HSUS is working to change that and, in collaboration with local advocates and organizations, has made great strides—but the chapter on gas chamber use isn’t closed yet.

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Most recent Tools and Resources > Humane euthanasia

  • Magazine Article

    Closing the door on the gas chamber

    Efforts to eliminate gas chambers nationwide have been largely successful, but the fight isn’t over

    We’re all working toward a world where no healthy, adoptable animal has to be euthanized, and statistics show we’re succeeding. But until we reach our goal, we owe shelter animals a compassionate end of life. Most outdated, inhumane euthanasia methods exist only in history books, but gas chambers are an exception. The HSUS is working to change that and, in collaboration with local advocates and organizations, has made great strides—but the chapter on gas chamber use isn’t closed yet.

    Read More

  • Magazine Article

    Mutterings

    Brooklyne Mugridge, 6, uses a sledgehammer on a gas chamber that was removed from the Heber City Animal Services shelter during a “Bash the Gas” celebration on June 12, 2014, in Utah.

    A round-up of fun, inspiring news tidbits from the animal welfare world.

    Gas Chambers’ Last Gasp in Nevada

    Nevada’s last known working gas chamber has closed its doors.

    The carbon monoxide gas chamber was purchased in the early ’80s and housed in a geographically isolated Elko, Nev., shelter, says Elko city manager Curtis Calder. “They were probably pretty commonplace back in those days,” he says.

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  • Store Product

    The HSUS Euthanasia Reference Manual: 25 Manuals

    25 Manuals

    This newly updated HSUS Euthanasia Reference Manual is designed to be the definitive basic education tool for understanding the methods and techniques of performing humane euthanasia. The manual is also available to download for free online.

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  • Store Product

    The HSUS Euthanasia Reference Manual

    This newly updated HSUS Euthanasia Reference Manual is designed to be the definitive basic education tool for understanding the methods and techniques of performing humane euthanasia. The manual is also available to download for free onlihne.

    Read More

  • HSUS Program

    HSUS statement on gas chambers

    Photo by Jim Urquhart/AP Images for The HSUS

    When shelters find themselves in the position of having to euthanize an animal, it is incumbent upon them to ensure that the death is as humane as possible. The Humane Society of the United States, the Association of Shelter Veterinarians, the National Animal Control Association, and all other national animal welfare organizations agree that direct injection of approved euthanasia drugs (referred to as Euthanasia by Injection, or EBI), by which the animal quickly loses consciousness without experiencing pain or distress, is the most humane method of euthanasia currently available. Lesser alternatives like carbon monoxide or carbon dioxide gas chambers (gas chambers), which can virtually never provide a stress and pain free death, must therefore never be used in shelter settings.

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  • HSUS Program

    Host a humane euthanasia training

    The following individuals have been licensed to use the HSUS course curriculum on performing humane euthanasia, based on the HSUS’ Euthanasia Reference Manual.

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