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Gas Chamber Bans Proposed in Southern States

Written by PETA | March 3, 2009

As hard as it is to believe, animal shelters in some states—including Georgia and North Carolina—continue to kill unwanted animals in gas chambers, with all the accompanying horror that such an image conjures. Fortunately, legislation has been introduced in both states to ban these horrendous contraptions for good.

It can take anywhere from 20 to 45 minutes for animals to die in gas chambers. Oftentimes, they bark, meow, howl, whine, gasp for breath, fight to claw their way out of the chamber, vomit, convulse, and/or urinate and defecate in terror. Animals sometimes have to be gassed repeatedly before they die. Some animals—like Davie, the North Carolina bill’s namesake—have been known to “wake up” later after being put in a freezer or dumped at a landfill.

To get a better idea of the horror that these animals go through, just look at these pictures of some of the gas chambers that are currently being used:


Lakeland Chamber
Macon Chamber
Spalding Chamber
Warner Robins Chamber


Linda Cordry, an animal control officer in Liberty County, Ga., has written in support of Georgia’s bill. “I know from firsthand experience that the gas chamber is a barbaric piece of equipment,” she says. “I can say without qualification that being killed in a gas chamber is terrifying for the animals and heartbreaking for the humans involved. It is the ultimate nightmare, and no horror film could even come close to depicting the experience.”

Both Georgia’s and North Carolina’s laws would require that animal shelters use only intravenous injections of sodium pentobarbital to euthanize animals. This is key because, in addition to using gas chambers, some animal shelters in rural areas still shoot unwanted animals. No, I’m not making that up. I wish I were.

If you live in North Carolina, click here to find your representative so that you can speak up about this legislation. Time is of the essence—the Georgia bill will be killed if a Senate version isn’t introduced by March 12, so if you live there, click here to find your representative’s contact info. If you don’t live in North Carolina or Georgia, you can leave a comment below in support of these new bills.

Written by Alisa Mullins

Commenting is closed.
  • Donna Jones says:


  • Marli says:

    I support this bill. We are mean to animals. They feel pain and fezr just like we do.

  • roselyn taylor says:

    Clicked on street dogs site for India Surprised that I ended up in America Gosh thought they were modern humane people. Surprised that any Americans would allow gassing of animals. Then checked date 2009!!! again find it hard to believe this. Whole of America ought to be ashamed of this practise.

  • Debbie says:

    Hi. I am from Australia. I have been following these disgusting and inhumane acts of cruelty against these beautiful souls recently. To me this is no different than what the Germans did to the Jews in Nazi war camps. I think this barbaric treatment needs to be stopped NOW!!! Animals have the trust and innocence of the mind of a 2 tear old child. How dare humans abuse that trust. How dare they play God!!

  • heather says:

    hello i just went to the animal shelter today in Ga in they have the gas thing and i hate it i love animals to death and i go up there just to love on them just in case they dont make it… and i wont to bring one home every time. this is so sick and i hate the peopple that do it. why would you do something like this i know it your job but hell dog and cat do not deserve this at ALL! what if i put you in a gas chamber and left you in there till you dont have know more life???? it would not fill good would it? NO! stop doing it. i just hate it so much and i know im not the only one it just pissis my off to see those cute innocent puppysdogscatand kittens and knowing that they are going to die an horrible way….

  • JAGPSL says:

    Rev. Meg Schramm If you are a person of the Lord and are really a reverend then I would expect the same compassion from you for ALL OF GOD’S CREATURES even if they don’t have souls. Obviously you totally forgot about Noah and the Arc but we all forget things especially when it comes to remembering our animal friends but I guess Noah didn’t. It’s bad enough we have a President who “promised” to adopt from a shelter but oh no!! his little girl has allergies so they made sure they got a purebred “hypoallergenic” dog. Yes he did make a donation but I believe all along that he had planned on having someone “gift” him a dog or the kind they needed. I understand people have allergies as I do but there are ways of preventing problems unless your body is super sensitive which I do not recall ever hearing about from the First Family. Unfortunately I live in Illinois which has the chamber and I have supported having a bill to end gas chambers. I am no where close to being an “animal freak” where I go and protest or let animals escape but I do support causes that help animals in a legal way. I guess I am one of those narrowminded people in their teens or twenties so I guess you’ll just disregard everything I said and just call me a silly little child!!

  • lynda downie says:

    Where in America Troy?

  • Troy says:

    America puts PEOPLE in gas chambers all the time.

  • lucia says:

    i feel sick

  • Brien Comerford says:

    It does not matter how poor you are or where you live. There are millions of very poor people in India who are vegetarians and never harm any animals.

  • Gabby says:

    I was shocked when I read this entry. This also has to be one of the worst pics i have seen on peta. I still dont understand how anybody could have the heart to shove these animals in these filthy horrible chambers and then leave them here to die.

  • JR says:

    I wholeheartedly support this bill! I really respect organizations like “Help Save One” that rescue dogs out of high kill shelters and find them homes. I check their website everyday always crossing my fingers that the “urgent” ones were saved… and most of them are. If we can’t save them all let’s at least be humane!

  • Megan Monroe says:

    This is completely absurd. I 100 support this bill. Please email me if I can do anything else to help.

  • vegancoin says:

    “By another… person who has never wanted for anything in his or her life.” Such dull speciesist language you invoke here truth is i still don’t see your “point”. Dogs and cats want the basics too love care food shelter and a feeling of companionship. Not to live a life of terror abuse and fear. Not being locked up in a small pen or a cage their entire lives in various extremes of temperatures and weather. Or to be chained up permanently in the back yard. To be the victim of the owners whims and desires. Or being treated merely as an accessory only to be dumped at the local shelter after the novelty is gone to be inhumanely and cruelly gassed to death. That is an abomination. According to PETA “Approximately 3 to 4 million cats and dogs many healthy and young are euthanized in animal shelters or by animal control agencies every year.” and “Other unwanted animals suffer a far worse fatebeing warehoused for years in nokill shelters that refuse to euthanize unadopted and unadoptable animals. Confined to cages for years on end they go insane out of loneliness and confinement. Many more unwanted animals are simply abandoned to suffer and die on city streets or in rural areas. There simply are not enough good homes for all the animals being born.” Do the math. As you yourself pointed out this Hillbilly culture is uneducated. Enough said.

  • Rev. Meg Schramm says:

    Well spoken Vegancoin. By another narrow minded person who has never wanted for anything in his or her life. I am willing to bet you are in your teens or twenties.

  • vegancoin says:

    “They are incredibly good at survival…” don’t make me laugh. If anybody was incredibly good at survival they would treat all members of the animal kingdom with respect and honor especially members of the immediate family including “mans best friend” and also when dog cats and other domesticated animals become a living breathing part of the family structure. No Hillbilly usually means lazy and unthinking they are unable to think outside the box whether by accident or design i have not a clue. Cruelty is cruelty there is no way to mask it or hide it

  • Elizabeth says:

    I adopted my 12 week old puppy from a rescue that saves the dogs in a high kill shelter in NC i support these bills. Its disgusting how innocent animals are being gassed due to people being irresponsible.

  • Rev. Meg Schramm says:

    This is regarding the comment on Hillbilly culture as though it is an entirely bad thing. The people some call hillbillies have a rich mountain culture which begins in the lowlands of Scotland and and was transferred to Belfast Plantation in Northern Ireland. In the 1700’s they came to the colonies and moved to Appalachia to avoid discrimination and peaceably live their lives. Just as the “N” word is derogatory and needs to stricken from our vocabulary so does the word “Hillbilly.” The correct term is either ScotsIrish or better yet “human being” or “brothers and sisters.” They are incredibly good at survival they work in jobs most of us cannot imagine doing such as coal mining one of the most dangerous jobs in America they were among the first workers to establish Labor Unions against incredible odds being killed for their union activities by their own employers was not uncommon. This paved the way for other unions making the working conditions for all Americans much better. Because of people like these we have the time to work for organizations like PETA and the energy to fight for both human and animal rights. If everyone worked 18 hours a day 6 days a week with only Sundays off we would not be protesting we would be tending our families cleaning our homes and trying to get a little rest before our shift begins. Our brothers and sisters in the southern states need education not condemnation and name calling. Until they are educated about more humane ways to care for animals nothing will change.

  • pat lambert says:

    I live in columbus countyn.c. and they still gas. Have a friend that hid in the bushes on gas day and she heard the screams of the animals also people at the business next door have told of the screaming on Fridays gas day but afraid to come forward because of fear of losing their job county job.They also sell the dead cats and kitten to a bio. lab in Burlington N.C. get around $7.00 to $8.00 pet catkittenthey don’t scan the animals and so peoples pets are being adopted out or gassed. I pray that the gas chamber will be done away with.

  • Emily says:

    I am so glad that PETA is exposing this barbaric practice. I have helped in rescuing animals from many of these shelters and it is heartbreaking. If anyone who lives in these states would urge their lawmakers to ban the gas chambers it would at least mean a humane death when necessary. Anyone who doesn’t believe that this is a cruel means of euthanasia would simply have to do a google search and read the horror stories. And for the people who think that the states cannot afford to switch to injections it has been proven that it actually cheaper to administer injection than to operate a gas chamber! I sure do hope they pass the laws to ban the chambers and other barbaric means of euthanasia if I lived in these states I would certainly be calling my lawmakers!

  • Abigail says:

    This is so heartbreaking those poor animals. I don’t like in the U.S. but support a ban on these barbaric practices.

  • Cyndi says:

    I moved from Florida to North Carolina. I am ashamed to even live in this state. Not only do they gas their unwanted animals dogs are routenly tied to houses and locked in pens 365 days a year. I watched in heartbreak this past week as 6 inches of snow fell on my neighbors dogs and they still sleep on frozen ground. North Carolina is a state filled with Hillbilly culture and a state which should burn to the ground.

  • Brittanie says:

    I am going to have nightmares for the rest of my life about this. I had absolutely no idea and I wonder if it is possible that the people in GA or NC don’t know too? Either way it is absolutely unethical and shameful. What more can those of us who do not live in those states do? I would like to help in every way possible in terms of banning this nightmare.

  • lynda downie says:

    So trueSophiya. Those pictures are so deeply disturbing.

  • vegancoin says:

    i don’t think words can describe how sick and inhumane this is. or how i feel right now. yeah that glass door is a bit much thanks for the heads up Star808.

  • Sophiya says:

    Wow that is just sick. I’m learning about WW2 and how in concentration camps to kill the Jews people soldiers would put them into chambers and fill them with carbon monoxide. They could kill about 2500 at a time. And when people hear about that people just get so angry and hate all of the Nazi’s with good reason. But when they hear about this they are not so upset because they are just animals which I think is so hypoctritical. I really agree with you ‘Holocaust on a Plate’ ad x

  • Star808 says:

    The first picture disturbed me the most… The front door is all glass and I can picture somebody standing in front of it watching a poor helpless animal gasping for air… Just sad…

  • Dorothy Roche says:

    This is appalling to me. How cruel is this? SHAME ON these states for using these gas chambers for animals.

  • Rev. Meg Schramm says:

    I will probably not be popular for saying this but since I am not popular anyway here goes. I have been in North Carolina Georgia and all of the southern states and while there I witnessed such a level of human poverty and misery that I could not believe I was in the United States. My point is many of these areas especially the rural areas do not have the money to euthanize more humanely. It is all very well to pass bills outlawing the current methods but if there are no funds available especially now things are not going to change. If anyone can come up with an idea for fundraisers to help these shelters update their methods and train their employees to use them that would be a tremendous help. I also suggest that all of the namecallers actually go to those areas and see how their human brothers and sisters live it was a real eye opener for me I can tell you. When the conditions for the humans improve the animal’s lives will improve also. I’ve seen it happen.

  • SparkyGump says:

    When I first saw this practice on the Earthlings DVD I was crying in horror and dispair. There is no way an innocent animal deserves such treatment. Thank you PETA for bringing this horrible torture to our attention.

  • Phyllis says:

    Thanks for posting this gotta go write my rep!

  • Brien Comerford says:

    Some areas of the southern part of the country are anathema to animal welfare. The hunting trappingcockfighting and disrespect for animals in general is very unsettling.

  • Anna Ochoa says:

    Please Please Please ban the gas chambers. When I read about this it just made me so upset. This is so inhumane. These animals have suffered enough and do not deserve to die this way.

  • Carla says:

    UNbelievable!! Look at that sad dog in the bottom picture. Heshe deserves so much better. Irresponsible owners are to blame.

  • Jimmy says:

    Euthanasia is a kindness “nokill” shelters are shams but it has to be done humanely. Thanks PETA for sticking up for these animals!

  • Lisa says:

    Yay! We’re getting somewhere! A proposal is a start for sure but that ban definitely needs to be put into place and heavily enforced! What an evil disgusting inhumane way of ‘getting rid of’ animals. Next step banning breeders and tighter control over neutering of pets.

  • Brandi Ohara says:

    Please stop this we put down killers of kids and rapist of kids and woman down nicer then we do animals that have never done anything please stop this you have the power we look up to you and this is still going on you can stop this so what is stopping you?

  • Jennie Wilstead says:

    Please stop this barbaric method of euthanizing anilmals. It’s bad enough that these animals are unwanted and ned to be put down but must you do it in such a way that causes them more pain and suffering? Please reconsider this method.

  • kate fancher says:

    This is barbaric and should be illegal!

  • Marsha Fagnani says:

    This is one sick and barbaric thing that should already be outlawed in this Country. The reason why these horrific “gas chambers” are used is because they are CHEAP. It costs money to at least humanely euthanize these animals. If people really knew how these helpless animals have to die and suffer it would break your heart. It has to be outlawed please!!!

  • Cherry says:

    It is absolutely disgusting how you torture these animals. You are no different than Hitler to painfully torture a living being like that.

  • WolfGirl21 says:

    I don’t live in either of those states but I totally support the bill. Those things scare me. They really need to get rid of those boxes of horror…fast!

  • Austin says:

    I can’t speak

  • JIll says:

    And people are still allowed to breed animals they are not required to ‘fix’ their animals and some people even ARGUE they should have the RIGHT to breed animals and that PETA is evil. Yes I hear that all the time. Evil. Ugh

  • Brad says:

    Most definitely support these bills!

  • pepper says:

    i regularly check peta and yet those gas chamber photos were some of the most disturbing and heartbreaking for me just knowing thousands of adorable dogs cats and other wonderful creatures that were forced in and left to die simply for not being wanted in a time period. ive seen this animal rights movie called earthlings and in the footage of this they tossed a hissing cat in and jerked a dead one out bye the leg