Officials in Person County, North Carolina, recently announced that they have dismantled and removed the gas chamber from the animal-control facility where the dog Little Boy Blue was rescued.
“I was thrilled when the county announced that it would stop using the chamber soon after Little Boy Blue was published,” says author Kim Kavin, “but I shared the same concerns as rescue advocates who said that it had to be removed to prevent any future use. The shelter director stated on national television that he did not feel it was cruel, and even after the local paper reported that the gas chamber was no longer being used at all, the county manager admitted to me that it would still be used to kill wildlife. The inconsistencies between what was happening inside the shelter and what the public was being told were giant red flags, so I pressed the county manager for a date when it would be dismantled. I also gave her a contact at the national level to answer any remaining questions that the shelter had about recommended forms of euthanasia for wildlife.”
The county’s press release states that the gas chamber was dismantled and removed on January 2 “to assure the public that it is no longer in use.” The staff are now using lethal injection only, including sedating animals before the injections are given.
“It’s great that Person County has taken these steps to remove its gas chamber and use a more humane form of euthanasia, and hopefully now the staff will focus on bringing down the kill rate altogether,” Kavin says. “Even with the help of local rescue groups, the kill rate for dogs like Blue at Person County’s taxpayer-funded facility remains well above 50 percent. I sincerely hope that rescue groups nationwide will reach out to Person County now that the shelter has shown its willingness to change.”