Sandy council votes unanimously; eliminates gas chamber at animal shelter

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SANDY, Utah -- Sandy City Council unanimously voted to eliminate the use of the gas chamber when it comes to euthanizing animals in the city, both domestic and wild on Tuesday.

The council and majority of the public agreed that it was inhumane to put animals to sleep using the chamber.

"This is right for Sandy I believe and should be done," said Councilwoman Kris Nicholl.

Utah is one of seven states in the country where animals are still euthanized through a gas chamber. Counting Sandy, there were currently eight shelters in Utah that have working gas chambers.

"It can take up to 25 minutes before these animals expel in a chamber so there is that whole time that they are sitting there experiencing this while their bodies are shutting down so for us to believe that they simply go to sleep and it's not painful for them is really ridiculous," said Sundays Hunt, Utah State Director, Humane Society of the United States.

There were more than a dozen organizations and members of the public on hand to support council's decision.

"There is no excuse, I've sat in five other states that made this transition," said Arthur Benjamin.

Benjamin, of Animal Dog Rescue, along with The Humane Society of the United States and an anonymous donor, are donating a combined $8,000 in grant money to the city to help with the transition away from the chamber, when it comes to training and equipment.

Last year, 362 wild animals were euthanized in the chamber.

"The few that need to be euthanized, they need to go humanely, they need to know the last few minutes of their life are calm and they can pass," said Benjamin.

However, some animal service officers say the gas chamber is necessary when it comes to safely dealing with wild animals like raccoons and skunks that could be carrying deadly disease.

"Certainly with a skunk there is the opportunity of being sprayed if you are having to get right there and do the injection, of course with a raccoon, it's wild so it's the nature of the wildlife animals being more difficult to deal with and having that one on one contact with an injection rather than the gas chamber," said Nicole Martin, Communications Director for Sandy.

The Sandy Chief of Police said he was in favor of keeping the gas chamber for special circumstances and also added he thought transitioning away from the gas chamber would take six to eight months. The city has given animal services until December 31.

"There are new techniques, new drugs, that need to be introduced to them and we have great community partners willing to give them that training," said Nicholl.


  • The Lady from the Yakima Valley

    Tne HSUS is a vegan front group that generally performs “rescues” and leaves local animal shelters stuck with the bills for caring for the rescued animals; the HSUS dumps them on the locals the minute the TV cameras leave.

    Gas chambers are required for human safety when dealing with some animals. On the other hand, I suggest that the state director of HSUS volunteer to demonstrate the proper technique on the next rabid raccoon brought in by animal control.

      • The Lady from the Yakima Valley

        No. Have known local humane organizations that have had HSUS show up for a televised “rescue”, get lots of camera time on a specialty network, and then drop all of the “rescues” off at the local anti-cruelty society without warning or pre-arrangement, leaving the locals to scramble to find a way to manage the expense and responsibility.

    • Shelley Tsuji

      “lady” speak your name if you are a real person….. Ladies, do not address government committees as you do.
      Identify yourself, and let’s meet one on one….If you have the nerve, or the ‘gumption’ otherwise, surrender your mouth and comments to your toilet bowl. Gas Chambers were used during Nazi occupations, not now with animals that don’t have a change against humans. If an animal is rabid, a simple innoculation is all that is required. Were you aware of that? When did you get your Veterinary Technologist’s degree…..Oh that’s right, didn’t thinks so…EVER. Thank you!! Only cowards hide behind a name…..I’m not, you are…let’s meet …. Bring it Old Lady…

    • Shelley Tsuji

      Yakima no namer……speak you name or shuuush…… read further posts about your lack of accuracy and factual information… much be reading a paper 50 years ago….step up, let’s talk about what is REALLY happening in the world today, OK? I don’t think you get it….no disrespect intended…..step into the 2100’s OK?

  • The Lady from the Yakima Valley

    Did I mention that less than 1% of the HSUS budget goes toward shelters? Perhaps you need to get out more?

    • Shelley Tsuji

      Come on “lady” I’m getting tired of calling you one with the way you act….let’s meet….with a full camera crew who won’t “cut out” as you put it……Bring your DOCUMENTED complaints…the bottom line is…a gas chamber is no longer needed for animals…GOT IT? I can’t wait to meet you face to face….you are NO lady….and I will be happy to show the world on TV exactly what you are…BRING IT!!! If you don’t …..shut up FOREVER!!

  • Robert

    Arthur Benjamin ran a now shuttered trade school – ATI Enterprises – that, during his years as CEO, stole $236 million in Federal education grants. Obama’s Department of Justice joined a lawsuit filed by former ATI students whose lives were damaged by Benjamin’s despicable crimes. The case was settled and ATI shut down forever. HSUS also lost a big RICO lawsuit filed by Feld Entertainment and so far have paid out $8 million in donor money. Benjamin also lost a lawsuit that he filed against Amica Mutual. Benjamin settled two sexual assault lawsuits filed by former employees and then sued his insurance company when it refused to cover the settlements. HSUS knows all about Benjamin’s tainted money and moral bankruptcy but still chose to take millions of dollars from him, help him set up his farcical Dog Rescue “charity,” and even appointed the miscreant to the HSUS National Council. The joke is that it took Benjamin, HSUS – AND another donor – to cough up a measly $8000. The sick joke, that is.

  • Shelley Tsuji

    To the council of Sandy, thank you for agreeing to do away with this chamber of death!! God Bless you ALL and yours!

  • Annette Zajaczkowski

    thats how you treat an animal how horrific can anyone be. remember 9/11 how many dogs lost their lives to save people like you and your families you should get on your knees and beg the lord for forgiveness.get with the program Hitler died a long time ago or did he?….shame on whoever thinks this is the way to put an animal down !!!

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