On October 29th, Gov. Tom Corbett will sign legislation making Pennsylvania the 20th state to end the inhumane practice of gas chambers for the euthanization of animals.
HB2630, aka “Daniel’s Law”, was named in honor of a beagle named Daniel who, along with 17 other stray dogs, was placed inside an Alabama gas chamber last October. After 17 minutes of carbon monoxide being pumped into the chamber, the door was opened and Daniel walked out; the lone survivor. He was later adopted by animal advocate and New Jersey dog trainer Joseph Dwyer – who took him everywhere from rallies to Anderson Cooper’s cable show to raise awareness on the cruelty of gas chambers.
Alabama has since banned gas chambers.
According to OccupyForAnimals.org, it can take up to 30 minutes for a dog or cat to die in a gas chamber, whereas an injection causes loss of consciousness within 3 to 5 seconds and clinical death within 2 to 5 minutes.
Under the new PA law, shelters will have 30 days to dismantle their gas chambers. They will also have to adhere to a new requirement that the drug injection be performed by a veterinarian or a certified veterinary technician under the supervision of a veterinarian.
As you can imagine, this transition will be costly to shelters, with many having to scramble to train and certify local “euthanasia technicians” to comply with the law. It’s yet unclear how this step in a more humane direction will impact overall services.
“Near the end of an animal’s life, sometimes the most humane choice for a pet is to end its suffering,” PA Senator Andy Dinniman, who spearheaded the law, declared on Facebook last week.
“When that difficult time comes, Pennsylvanians deserve to be sure that their pet or any pet animal is euthanized as humanely and painlessly as possible and by someone specifically trained to do that difficult task.”
To read more on the new law and its impacts, visit Amy Worden’s excellent article over on Philly.com here.