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OHIO SPCA Demands End to Gassing at Fairfield County Dog Shelter


August 6, 2012


The Ohio Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Inc. (OHIO SPCA) has issued a written demand requesting the immediate end to the gassing of dogs at the Fairfield County, Ohio, Dog Shelter.  The demand was submitted by attorney John A. Bell on behalf of the OHIO SPCA.  For years, pleas from concerned groups and residents have fallen on deaf ears. 


There is nothing humane about using a gas chamber to end the life of any animal.  Animals are placed inside a “box” or cage with other animals. As the gas fills the chamber, the animals begin to panic and fights can break out.  According to the American Humane Association, it can take up to 25 minutes for an animal to die.  Using a gas chamber to euthanize animals can result in prolonged suffering and distress, particularly for old, sick, injured, pregnant, and very young animals unable to readily absorb the gas. 


In Fairfield County, the atrocities have been documented.  According to more than one witness, 12 to 16 dogs have been shoved into the euthanasia cage. This has resulted in dogs not being dead when the chamber cycle was complete.  As a result, the dogs were gassed twice. Puppies have also been gassed twice because their lungs were not large enough to absorb the gas. It has even been reported that the stethoscopes that were purchased with County funds are not being used to verify death in the dogs.


The demand states “The Fairfield County Dog Shelter is committing acts of companion animal cruelty with taxpayer money. This letter is the last clear chance for the Fairfield County Commissioners to do the right thing and avoid the cost and inconvenience of a lawsuit.”


For the past 10 years, the OHIO SPCA has worked to bring reform to rural county pounds, thus ending the use of guns, engine exhaust, homemade gas boxes, and gas chambers.  “With approximately 77 counties in Ohio using ONLY Euthanasia by Injection (EBI), it is now time for us to focus on the remaining counties that continue to use this archaic and inhumane method,” states Teresa Landon, OHIO SPCA Executive Director. 


When properly administered, EBI is the most humane method. It is also more cost effective and safer for shelter workers.  It is long past the time that every gas chamber be dismantled and removed and the more gentle and humane method of Euthanasia by Injection used. It is equally past the time for mandatory spaying neutering in order to prevent such needless killing of companion animals.


On August 7, 2012, representatives from the OHIO SPCA will attend the Fairfield County Commissioners meeting when the commissioners plan to discuss whether or not to change the way the dog shelter euthanizes animals.

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