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Animal Awareness : 3 Stories to Encourage Us to Help...
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 Message 1 of 1 in Discussion 
From: MSN Nicknamemaryjane_?/nobr>  (Original Message)Sent: 10/14/2006 12:58 AM

or at least to not remember....and to not become callous in our potentially, generally comfortable lives. because this is just a branch of the pain that goes on all around us to all living.

Warning: These stories are sad. If you will be too affected your physical or mental health will be too negatively affected.... then you may not want to read further.


1. Story from a man wanting to make a difference:
I had to think long and hard about posting a comment about this subject as it requires baring my soul more than I am really comfortable with, but feel if it helps, I must.

As I stated in my Bio,when I was a little boy I spent many of my summers working in Bay City, Michigan for my Great Uncle who was a vet there. Please understand that this was over 50 years ago and while many things in our treatment of animals have changed, sadly, some things have not.

At the time, Bay City was a small town(and may still be..I haven't been back there since that time). My Great Uncle was a very kind man, with a great compassion for animals of all kinds, who survived the Great Depression and supported his family by trading food for the table for veterinary help with the local farm animals, as well as dogs, cats, etc. He would help a mare give birth to it's foal for a couple of chickens,or perhaps a basket of vegetables in lieu of cash...a commodity which was in short supply at the time.

My duties included being up before dawn every day to clean out the kennels and feed the dogs and cats he had taken in as strays or were victims of accidents that were left on his door. My first experience with surgery was walking out the front door to find an Irish Setter laying on the stoop, dying, with an arrow stuck in him.) You can imagine the panic I felt at six or seven years old as I ran upstairs to wake up my "Uncle".

He hurried down and we carried the poor dog to his crude operating room and I was told to shove my hand into the wound and stop the bleeding, hold clamps, gauze,etc. The whole time I was scared to death for the dog and trying to control myself.

I am happy to say that this dog survived and a home was found for him after he recovered, with a lot of help from the two of us. It was one of the proudest moments of my life. My Uncle found homes for many of the animals he took in, all of them as far as I knew, and several summers went by, one the same as the last.

Over all of them there was one rule that I was told to obey more than any other, that being to NEVER open the door to the small room in the back of the kennel. I did this despite my curiousity,which of course, all young boys have. And every once in a while, for no reason I could understand, my Uncle would tell me not to come into the kennnel that day to do my "work".

I would notice that for a day or two after, he was a different person...moody and depressed...and wishing to be left alone.
Finally a fateful day came which to this day I wish hadn't. My curiousity, you see had finally gotten the best of me, and I broke the RULE. I went into the kennel that I had seen my Uncle go into and he wasn't there. I heard a noise coming from the room in the back and opened the door....only to watch the final moments of the scene taking place there.

My Uncle was on the edge of tears as the last dog died in a steel cylinder with a glass window in it..a chamber like the one mentioned in this story. I saw the look on the dogs face as it was trying to suck air into its' lungs and then watched it fall.

I was too stunned to react, and too young to fully understand why he was doing this horrible thing, but my relationship with him was never the same and, within a few years he passed away.

Years later I talked to my mother about this and she told me the whole truth...that despite all his efforts and his giant heart, he just couldn't find homes for all the dogs and cats he took in and couldn't afford to feed them and simply had no room in his small kennel and therefore, no choice.

He hid this from me to save me from the horror of this deed that he had to perform, despite the fact that he didn't want to take the lives of the animals he loved. To those who would judge him too harshly, these were the days long before Best Friends, support groups, no kill movements, spay/nutering advocacy (it was not even thought of yet) or even modern veterinary practices.

To those of you who have never seen this device being used, I can honestly tell you I don't wish it on you.

I will not elaborate further on it's cruelty, suffice it to say that if we as a state and as a nation can not eliminate this method of euthanasia from our country we are failing in our goals to end cruelty to the animals in our care. Some things you see as a child stay with you your whole life. I know I will always be haunted by the look on that dogs face......


Yes, I Gas Dogs and Cats for a Living.
I'm an Animal Control officer in a very small town in central North Carolina.
I'm in my mid thirties, and have been working for the town in different positions since high school.
There is not much work here, and working for the county provides good pay and benefits for a person like me without a higher education.
I'm the person you all write about how horrible I am.
I'm the one that gasses the dogs and cats and makes them suffer.
I'm the one that pulls their dead corpses out smelling of Carbon Monoxide and throws them into green plastic bags.
But I'm also the one that hates my job and hates what I have to do.
First off, all you people out there that judge me, don't. God is judging me, and I know I'm going to Hell.
Yes, I'm going to hell. I wont lie, it's despicable, cold, cruel and I feel like a serial killer.
I'm not all to blame, if the law would mandate spay and neuter, lots of these dogs and cats wouldn't be here for me to gas.
I'm the devil, I know it, but I want you people to see that there is another side to me the devil Gas Chamber man.
The shelter usually gasses on Friday morning.
Friday's are the day that most people look forward to, this is the day that I hate, and wish that time will stand still on Thursday night.
Thursday night, late, after nobody's around, my friend and I go through a fast food line, and buy 50 dollars worth of cheeseburgers and fries, and chicken.
I'm not allowed to feed the dogs on Thursday, for I'm told that they will make a mess in the gas chamber, and why waste the food.
So, Thursday night, with the lights still closed, I go into the saddest room that anyone can every imagine, and let all the doomed dogs out out their cages.
I have never been bit, and in all my years doing this, the dogs have never fought over the food.
My buddy and I, open each wrapper of cheeseburger and chicken sandwich, and feed them to the skinny, starving dogs.
They swallow the food so fast, that I don't believe they even taste it.
There tails are wagging, and some don't even go for the food, they roll on their backs wanting a scratch on their bellys.
They start running, jumping and kissing me and my buddy.
They go back to their food, and come back to us.
All their eyes are on us with such trust and hope, and their tails wag so fast, that I have come out with black and blues on my thighs..
They devour the food, then it's time for them to devour some love and peace.
My buddy and I sit down on the dirty, pee stained concrete floor, and we let the dogs jump on us.
They lick us, they put their butts in the air to play, and they play with each other.
Some lick each other, but most are glued on me and my buddy.
I look into the eyes of each dog. I give each dog a name.
They will not die without a name.
I give each dog 5 minutes of unconditional love and touch.
I talk to them, and tell them that I'm so sorry that tomorrow they will die a gruesome, long, torturous death at the hands of me in the gas chamber.
Some tilt their heads to try to understand.
I tell them, that they will be in a better place, and I beg them not to hate me.
I tell them that I know I'm going to hell, but they will all be playing with all the dogs and cats in heaven.
After about 30 minutes, I take each dog individually, into their feces filled concrete jail cell, and pet them and scratch them under their chins.
Some give me their paw, and I just want to die. I just want to die.
I close the jail cell on each dog, and ask them to forgive me.
As my buddy and I are walking out, we watch as every dog
is smiling at us and them don't even move their heads.
They will sleep, with a full belly, and a false sense of security.
As we walk out of the doomed dog room, my buddy and I go to the cat room.
We take our box, and put the very friendly kittens and pregnant cats in our box.
The shelter doesn't keep tabs on the cats, like they do the dogs.
As I hand pick which cats are going to make it out, I feel like I'm playing God, deciding whose going to live and die.
We take the cats into my truck, and put them on blankets in the back.
Usually, as soon as we start to drive away, there are purring cats sitting on our necks or rubbing against us.
My buddy and I take our one way two hour trip to a county that is very wealthy and they use injection to kill animals.
We go to exclusive neighborhoods, and let one or two cats out at a time.
They don't want to run, they want to stay with us. We shoo them away, which makes me feel sad.
I tell them that these rich people will adopt them, and if worse comes to worse and they do get put down, they will be put down with a painless needle being cradled by a loving veterinarian.
After the last cat is free, we drive back to our town.
It's about 5 in the morning now, about two hours until I have to gas my best friends.
I go home, take a shower, take my 4 anti-anxiety pills and drive to work.. I don't eat, I can't eat.
It's now time, to put these animals in the gas chamber. I put my ear plugs in, and when I go to the collect the dogs, the dogs are so excited to see me, that they jump up to kiss me and think they are going to play.
I put them in the rolling cage and take them to the gas chamber. They know. They just know. They can smell the death.. They can smell the fear.
They start whimpering, the second I put them in the box.
The boss tells me to squeeze in as many as I can to save on gas.
He watches. He knows I hate him, he knows I hate my job.
I do as I'm told. He watches until all the dogs, and cats (thrown in together) are fighting and screaming. The sounds is very muffled to me because of my ear plugs.
He walks out, I turn the gas on, and walk out.
I walk out as fast as I can. I walk into the bathroom, and I take a pin and draw blood from my hand. Why? The pain and blood takes my brain off of what I just did.
In 40 minutes, I have to go back and unload the dead animals.
I pray that none survived, which happens when I overstuff the chamber. I
pull them out with thick gloves, and the smell of carbon monoxide makes me sick.
So does the vomit and blood, and all the bowel movements.
I pull them out, put them in plastic bags.
They are in heaven now, I tell myself.
I then start cleaning up the mess, the mess, that YOU PEOPLE are creating by not spay or neutering your animals.
The mess that YOU PEOPLE are creating by not demanding that a vet come in and do this humanely. You ARE THE TAXPAYERS, DEMAND that this practice STOP!
So, don't call me the monster, the devil, the gasser, call the politicians, the shelter directors, and the county people the devil. Heck, call the governor, tell him to make it stop.
As usual, I will take sleeping pills tonight to drown out the screams I heard in the past, before I discovered the ear plugs.
I will jump and twitch in my sleep, and I believe I'm starting to hallucinate.
This is my life.
Don't judge me. Believe me, I judge myself enough

this is in or around nc

no -- it's NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests


Quentin the Miracle Dog
January 20, 2006 : 12:00 AM
He was cast into a St. Louis city gas chamber in 2003 ...

This homeless dog Quentin was to be euthanized with all the other unwanted or unclaimed dogs. It appeared the approximately one year-old Basenji mix Quentin had simply run out of luck -- and time.

He had been surrendered to the city shelter by a person who no longer wanted him. In the days following, he was a dog who had no one stepped up to adopt. That landed landed him at death's door....specifically the gas chamber door.

After putting several animals in the chamber, time elapsed and the supervisor returned. When the chamber doors opened and there was Quentin still alive amidst other dogs not so fortunate, the supervisor said to the shelter manager, 'Please, take him...I don't have the heart to put him back in there and re-gas him."'

This canine, who did miraculously live through the horror of the chamber, apparently had a destiny. This 30-pound, orange dog, the supervisor on duty at the time believed, beat the odds and should live on when she found him still alive....standing atop the other dead animals..

Enter Randy Grim....Randy Grim, founder and head of Stray Rescue of St. Louis, the humane shelter that would take in Quentin has retold this story many times and is grateful for Quentin every day of his life. Grinm is now Quentin's human and the love and bond they share is extremely special.

People should know that in gas chambers animals are put into the death chamber that is normally a little larger than a washing machine. Carbon monoxide is pumped in, killing the animals. The animals do indeed suffer when being killed by carbon monoxide-the stuff commonly found in vehicle exhaust.

The number of gas chambers in shelters in our country that are still in existence has been estimated to be in the thousands. But, the exact number is still hard to come by because many of these shelters that employ this antiquated method are in rural areas and/or go unreported and unregulated. But, not all shelters who use this method are "rural or in the country." No, not by far.

Since living through the chamber in 2003, Quentin has not been resting on his laurels. He and Randy have been and still are on a heavy schedule of appearances that take them across the country continually to educate communities and their decision makers about the truth of gas chambers.

Most of our citizens and decision makers do not know of the horror involved with the antiquated chambers. As Randy says, "If we must euthanize(kill) healthy adoptable innocent companion animals which we shouldn't be doing anyway, at least we can do it humanely."

People inspired by Quentin's story can take the opportunity in their own communities to rescue and adopt an animal from their local shelter. If we adopt animals instead of purchasing them from breeders and pet stores, fewer animals will suffer and die as a result.

Adopting and spaying or neutering are simple actions we can all take to prevent the deaths of millions of other animals not as fortunate as Quentin. Eliminating gas chambers is essential.

Quentin and Randy have also written a book to help educate folks, Miracle Dog: How Quentin Survived the Gas Chamber to Speak for Animals on Death Row published by Alpine in April of 2005. It has received starred reviews and is available in bookstores and from Randy Grim's organization, Stray Rescue of St. Louis.

Randy Grim and Quentin have received the IDA Guardian Award and The Animal World Heart of a Hero Award.

Stray Rescue of St. Louis
Click Here

National Geographic2005 Story

by Michelle Buckalew


from what i have been reading......lethal injection is also not quite the painless death we tend to assume. seems a step or more above the gas chamber. ....for various reasons.

âHe who is cruel to animals becomes hard also in his dealings with men. We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals.â
Immanuel Kant

"The question is not,
"Can they reason?" nor,
"Can they talk?" but rather,
"Can they suffer?" ~Jeremy Bentham

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