Moberly dismantles gas chamber used for animal euthanization

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MOBERLY - Moberly no longer will euthanize animals with a gas chamber. 

In exchange for getting rid of the gas chamber, the Humane Society of the United States is giving the city grant funds used for training, tools and supplies to take care of animals.

"Overall, it's just a very inhumane death," said Amanda Good, Missouri State director for the Humane Society of the United States, on using gas chambers. 

Good said animals suffer when they are euthanized by a gas chamber. 

She said when injections are used to put down animals, the animal loses consciousness in about three to five seconds, compared to minutes when a gas chamber is used. 

"If the machine itself is old or not utilized properly, which often happens in more rural areas where they do not have the funding to update their equipment, then it makes the situation even worse," Good said. 

Good said the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) first reached out to Moberly a few years ago to notify the city the grant was available, but decided to not remove the chamber at that time. 

She said the city reached out to HSUS a few months ago to see if the grant funding was still available. 

"We were thrilled when they said they would finally destroy that chamber," Good said. 

Moberly is now contracting with a veterinarian for euthanasia and the grant money can help fund that. 

Good said Missouri is one of only eleven states that does not allow euthanasia by injection done by certified technicians.

She believes that is why some places still use the gas chamber. 

"Anybody can operate a gas chamber, whereas in Missouri only veterinarians can perform euthanasia by injection," Good said. 

Missouri is only one of four states in the country where gas chambers are still known to be used to euthanize pets.