Representative Jim Moran

Representing the 8th District of Virginia
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Moran Introduces Resolution Opposing Gas Chamber for Shelter Pets

May 10, 2013
Press Release

Washington, DC – Congressman Jim Moran, Northern Virginia Democrat and co-chair of the Congressional Animal Protection Caucus, today reintroduced a resolution, H. Res. 208, opposing the use of gas chambers to euthanize shelter animals. Introduced during National Pet Week, the resolution is supported by over 400 national, state, and local animal protection and rescue organizations.

“Using gas chambers to kill shelter animals is unnecessarily cruel, causing these animals to suffer in the last moments of their life. This resolution would bring more attention to this unacceptable practice,” said Rep. Moran. “With the continued advocacy of compassionate citizens, I hope we can stamp out this inhumane practice.”

The resolution calls upon states to require, when euthanasia is deemed a necessary course of action, the use of established injectable euthanasia agents.  Each year, 6-8 million animals are placed into the care of our nation’s local animal shelters. Unfortunately, nearly half of these animals are euthanized because adoptive homes are not able to be found for them.

Gas chambers also threaten the safety of shelter workers, causing the death of at least one human and severely injuring several others in recent years. By comparison, the use of euthanasia by injection causes animals to lose consciousness and brain function before their vital organs shut down, decreasing suffering and resulting in rapid clinical death.

“Death by gas is unnecessarily prolonged, terrifying and painful and it is unconscionable that this tactic is still being used in this country,” said Debbie Marson, local animal protection advocate and volunteer for Homeward Trails Animal Rescue.  “Lethal injection is more humane, more cost effective and only takes seconds.  Euthanasia, after all, means ‘good death.’  Death by gas chamber does not meet this definition.”

Laws determining euthanasia procedures for shelter animals are determined on a state-by-state basis, with several states responding to public concerns by outlawing gas chambers in recent years. Following the enactment of legislation in 2008, Virginia is currently one of 20 states that prohibit the use of gas chambers.

To view a fact sheet on H. Res. 208, please visit:  
For a list of supporting organizations, please visit: