Sent: 3/17/2008 9:51:59 A.M. Central Daylight Time
Subj: Help End Illinois Gas Chambers for cats and dogs

We need your help! A bill is currently pending in Springfield that will ban the use of carbon monoxide euthanasia for cats and dogs. If HB 4844 does not become law, dogs and cats will continue to be forced into a gas chamber and suffer an inhumane death. Because cats and dogs cannot afford lobbyists, you must be their lobbyist. So please read this email and do two things:

1) Call your State Representative and State Senator
2) Forward this email to your friends and colleagues who care about animals

The use of the gas chamber is inhumane and banned in many states, yet it is still legal in Illinois. The process involves leading or dragging multiple animals into a gas chamber. The chamber is sealed and then the gas is released. Often the animals panic and fights may break out. The process may take up to 45 minutes and occasionally some animals survive the first round, only to have to have the process repeated. In puppy mills, the chamber is homemade and car exhaust is used instead of commercial carbon monoxide.

HB 4844 would ban the use of carbon monoxide euthanasia in Illinois. Pets would instead be put to sleep by an injection of sodium pentobarbital, a controlled substance. Pets die in seconds without pain or suffering, which is a more humane method of euthanasia. Injection of sodium pentobarbital has the added benefit of being less expensive and safer that the gas chamber.

HB 4844 is in jeopardy of not becoming law because the Illinois State Veterinary Medical Association (ISVMA) is opposing the bill.

It is unclear why the ISVMA is opposing this bill. The ISVMA agrees that there are more humane methods of euthanasia, and it agrees that NO vet in Illinois currently uses a gas chamber. The ISVMA also agrees that gas chambers are dangerous to staff. Staff and veterinarians across the country have been injured or killed because of carbon monoxide leaks and explosions.

The ISVMA testified regarding HB 4844 before the Illinois State legislature that gas chambers are humane, citing a report from the American Veterinary Medical Association. This same study says that for cats and dogs, electrocution and the use of a captive bolt to the head are humane forms of euthanasia. I hope you will agree that these positions are simply wrong. Here is a link to the study:

Below is a link to a video, the video documents how gas chambers work. Caution: The images are extremely disturbing.

Here is a link to the legislation if you would like to read HB 4844.

Please take a moment and contact your state Representative and Senator. You can find your elected official here:

Here is a sample script for when you call your elected official:
“My name is ______ and I live in your district. I am calling because I support HB 4844. Illinois should ban carbon monoxide euthanasia. This practice is inhumane and I am asking you to support the ban. I know what that the State Veterinarian Association is opposing this bill, but they are wrong on this issue. I understand there is a need for euthanasia in Illinois, but we should ensure it is as humane and painless as possible. So please support HB 4844.”

Thank you very much for your time.

Jordan Matyas