(C. Proxmire, Sept. 12, 2013)
The Michigan Senate has unanimously passed a bill that would ban the use of gas chambers in animal shelters. According to a Detroit News report, gas chambers are still in use in four SE Michigan County-run shelters: Branch, Berrien, Cass and Van Buren counties. Most shelters use lethal injection to put down sick or unadoptable dogs and cats.
The bill will now move on to the House of Representatives for a vote.
In Oakland County elected officials and a Political Action Committee called Oakland Pet Advocates are pushing for The Oakland Pet Adoption Center to become a no kill shelter. Democrats have introduced three pieces of legislation to change shelter policies, but the measures are not being heard at the committee level.
The first resolution would have the shelter save all healthy and treatable homeless cats and dogs by the end of 2014.
The second resolution would require the shelter to post monthly statistics on the county website showing what happened to the cats and dogs that entered the shelter – adopted, returned to owner, euthanized.
The third resolution would require the shelter to first offer an animal to a rescue organization before they euthanize it.
The biggest point of contention between the advocates and the shelter administration comes from what constitutes a “no kill” shelter, and if it would be realistic for Oakland County to maintain such a status. “We do not euthanize any animals unless they are too aggressive or too sick to be adopted out,” Gatt said. This includes feral cats that lack the ability to be loving indoor pets.
When animals are put down at the Oakland Pet Adoption Center, it is done by trained professionals using injection.
The Oakland Pet Adoption Center has made steps in those directions since the group began speaking at County Commission meetings last year. For a more in-depth look at the issues facing the shelter and the animals staying there, see our previous article http://ferndale115.com/nuevo/2013/07/18/advocates-and-adoption-center-try-to-navigate-whats-best-for-pets-video/.