A new relationship with animals, nature and each other.

No Change for Utah City Gas Chamber

Djamila Grossman  |  The Salt Lake Tribune

Andrea, a cat who was euthanized twice by a West Valley City shelter but didn't die, looks out the window at at her owner's Syracuse home, on Sunday, Oct. 16, 2011.Update to our story on Andrea, the cat who survived being gassed twice at Utah’s West Valley City shelter.

A group of volunteers from the shelter, led by the rescue group CAWS (Community Animal Welfare Society), asked the city council to get rid of the gas chamber altogether. The city council declined.

Here’s the report from the local ABC news station:

The shelter currently conducts 49 percent of euthanasia cases via injection, and 51 percent using carbon monoxide.

A group of nearly a half dozen advocates spoke at a West Valley City Council meeting Tuesday evening to ask that city officials eliminate the carbon monoxide chamber that was used on Andrea, and instead rely only on shots to euthanize animals, arguing the shots are more humane.

City council members, however, were not swayed. [West Valley City manager Wayne] Pyle said the city did not plan to make any changes to the current policy and method of euthanizing cats if they are not adopted within 30 days.

“This issue has been examined closely multiple times since the shelter’s construction,” Pyle said. “We’re comfortable that the policy in place is a good one.”

The shelter, meanwhile, is investigating why the gassings failed.

Note: Several people raised objections to our previous story about Andrea, where we pointed out the irony of the fact that the only reason this poor cat is still alive is because the shelter was using the antiquated gas chamber rather than lethal injection. We were not suggesting that gas chambers are more humane than lethal injection, but the bizarre fact is that the only reason this good-natured, entirely adoptable cat is still alive is because she was gassed rather than stuck with the needle.

The ABC News report above reveals yet another irony: Since almost half the animals killed at the shelter do indeed get the lethal injection, Andrea was doubly lucky – having had the good fortune to have been among the other half that day!

Sure, lethal injection is more “humane” than the gas chamber. The point is no one should have been trying to kill Andrea in the first place. Nor should they be killing all the other perfectly adoptable cats there.