Wednesday, February 11, 2009

We have recently partnered with PawsCorp, a website where you can purchase pet supplies and donate to your favorite charity at no extra cost. Plus, you can proudly show your support of ACR, when you purchase merchandise with our logo on it from the PawsCorp Alley Cat Rescue Store! To get more information or to view our products, please click on the above banner.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Urge North Carolina to Pass Bill to Stop Gas Chamber Killings

North Carolina may be the next state to ban using the gas chamber to euthanize shelter animals. Representative Cary Allred filed a bill called the Humane Euthanasia in Shelters Act or the Davie's Law last week. The bill calls on county or city-run animal shelters to stop using gas chambers to euthanize unwanted animals. Rep. Allfred said, “I've got three dogs and two cats, and I would not want them to be put down in a gas chamber. I don't believe it's humane to use exhaust fumes, the same fumes you get from the tailpipe of a car.” He said lethal injection lets “them go peacefully to sleep.” The bill is named for a puppy that survived being gassed in a North Carolina shelter, who was later found alive in a dumpster. He was rescued by a family who stopped to drop off trash and heard him crying from inside a plastic bag.

Lethal injection is the preferred method of euthanasia by the American Veterinary Medical Association and National Animal Control Association. For the animal, if administered properly, it is usually no different than a shot given by a veterinarian. If the animal is or becomes aggressive, it can be sedated prior to the injection. However, many states still practice other methods of euthanasia such as, electrocution, heartstick, shooting, drowning, and beating. Intracardiac injection or heartstick, for example, typically involves sticking a needle into a conscious animal's heart; the animal is often stabbed repeatedly in this way.

Alice Singh, a board member with the NC Coalition for Humane Euthanasia, said witnessing animals being put to death in a gas chamber in Yadkin County prompted her to support the legislation. “I will never forget what I saw,” she said. “The dogs were trying to jump out of the large metal box, only to fail with many other dogs in the chamber with them. The screams from that box will never escape my memory, nor will the many scratches inside of the box, or the blood in the bottom left after removing the dogs.”

Besides the mental stress on shelter workers, there is also a physical danger to using gas chambers. They are at risk from CO poisoning when they load and unload or clean the gas chamber, breathing in low levels of the gas on a regular basis. A 2007 AVMA report warns, “[Carbon monoxide gas is]....hazardous to personnel because of the risk of explosions...or health effects resulting from chronic exposure....Leaky or faulty equipment may lead to slow, distressful death and be hazardous to other animals and to personnel.” CO gas leaks have been documented at gas chambers in Rockingham, Montgomery, Randolph, Stokes, Columbus, Sampson, and Granville counties in NC. In July, 2008, in Iredell County, NC, the gas chamber exploded with 10 dogs crammed inside; an employee was present at the time, and other workers were in the next room.

Lastly, numerous studies have proven that lethal injection is less costly than utilizing gas chambers to euthanize animals. The Western Pennsylvania Humane Society, by using an Animal Euthanasia Cost Analysis work sheet, developed at Texas A&M University, showed in September 2000, that to euthanize 10,000 animals per year, the cost of gassing averages $13,230 while lethal injection averages $12,700.

Ultimately, the goal is to euthanize as few animals as possible (in a perfect world, NOT euthanizing ANY because of lack of homes would be great), but to argue over the best method for destroying them is ridiculous in the year 2009. There is no reason to use dangerous, inhumane methods to destroy shelter animals. To show your support of the Humane Euthanasia in Shelters Act and to urge NC representatives to pass the bill, please contact the North Carolina General Assembly.

Send Letters To:
North Carolina General Assembly
Legislative Building
16 West Jones Street
Raleigh, NC 27601

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Good News for Cats and Dogs in India


According to an Indian newspaper, The Statesman, a training center for stray dogs and a park for cats will be opening in Kolkata (formerly Calcutta) soon. Both centers will be built by Love and Care for Animals, an animal welfare group in India. A spokeswoman for the group, Mrs. Susmita Roy, said, “according to research, stray dogs often become biters due to ill treatment by humans.” She says dogs that bite are difficult to train and such nervous, unpredictable animals are hard to adopt. Therefore, the purpose of the new centers is to rehabilitate these animals and give them a second chance at life.

Experts will look after the physical and mental health of the dogs. They will be trained to be guard dogs and pets, once properly trained. “Stray dogs can make excellent guards because of their intelligence and physical strength,” said Dr. S. Ghosh, a veteran veterinarian. The cat park will house cats caught in state run hospitals, primary health centers, and other health care establishments. There will be cottages and playgrounds for the cats, and the public will be encouraged to visit the center, to help with the rehabilitation of the cats. Both centers strive to make the environments loving and nurturing for the animals and the visitors.