DEARBORN (WWJ) – A local animal shelter is urging the community to contact a state representative about banning gas chambers for euthanizing dogs and cats in Michigan.
Sandy Boulton, a spokesperson for Friends of the Dearborn Animal Shelter, said the gas chamber method of euthanasia is outdated, overly expensive and inhumane.
“Back in the day, it was what was done when we were really only talking about dog pounds and not caring for companion animals, like they are today. As humans, it certainly is not a practice that we recognize as something that should continue,” Boulton told WWJ’s Chrystal Knight.
Boulton said the inhumane euthanasia method is actually still being practiced today at shelters in Michigan.
“We, like most shelters across the state, use a method of euthanizing animals, when it’s necessary, by injection. But in the state of Michigan, there are still four sheltering organizations that are using the antiquated process of a gas chamber for euthanasia,” she said.
Last year, lawmakers introduced the Grant Bill — named after a dog deemed friendly who, despite rescue efforts, was euthanized in a gas chamber — that would ban the use of gas chambers for the purpose of euthanizing companion animals.
“Senate Bill 354 was introduced formally to the legislature last year in May. It not only passed through the Senate Agriculture Committee very favorably, but it passed on the Senate floor unanimously in September last year,” Boulton said.
But now, the bill isn’t going anywhere.
“It’s kind of a mystery why it has stalled, but it has,” Boulton said. “It is sitting, awaiting a hearing in the House Committee on Local Government. And that committee chair, Rep. Amanda Price, is really the person that we would like to ask for help.”
Boulton is urging all animal lovers to contact Price and urge her to move the bill up in the House.
“If people contact her, she can schedule it so that the bill gets heard, and that’s what we want to ask her to do, to move the bill forward in the agenda,” she said.
Boulton said the bill has received a wide-range of support, from shelters and animal advocacy groups to the American Veterinary Medical Association.
“Really, if the public wants to help move it forward and feels a sense of desire to be involved, contact Amanda Price. That’s the key, she needs to hear from the people,” she said. “As citizens who care about animals and how we treat them in our state, please support it and help us.”
Citizens can contact Rep. Price by phone at 517-373-0838 or by email at AmandaPrice@house.mi.gov.