Rep. Jon Applebaum seeks to do away with Minnesota's doggie gas chambers


Passage of Rep. Applebaum's bill would make Minnesota the 28th state to ban using gas chambers to euthanize companion animals. [Photo: Star Tribune file]

Anyone who's ever stroked the nose of a pet that's about to be put down, watching that fuzzy member of the family close its eyes after a vet administers a lethal serum, you know it wrenches the heart something brutal.

But the thought of a pet meeting its maker by being shoved into a chamber, then slowly dying via the inhalation of poisonous gas, seems cruel, if not like outdated barbarity.      

Although the exact number of shelters operating gas chambers is somewhat guesswork, there's enough that Humane Society of the U.S. officials approached Rep. Jon Applebaum (DFL-Minnetonka).

"The Humane Society told me that this is continuing to be an issue in Minnesota, and I wanted to do something about it," says the 32-year-old lawmaker. "… It's hard to say how because the shelters are not required to say how they euthanize pets."

But they will, Applebaum says.  

He's authored legislation that would prohibit using gas chambers as a method of putting down pets at animal shelters in the state. The measure, which already has bipartisan support, is now in the hands of the House Agriculture Policy Committee. If successful, Minnesota would join 27 other states to ban gas chamber euthanization for companion animals.


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