With the looming presidential election, acts of bipartisanship are hard to find. Senators and House members in Pennsylvania, however, agreed that gas chambers should be eliminated from animal control facilities and shelters state wide — in short, no more executing unwanted dogs and cats via exposure to carbon monoxide gas.
So they passed House Bill 2630, which Gov. Tom Corbett (R) signed into law on October 26.
The bill was introduced by Senator Andrew Dinniman (D) of the Keystone State’s Chester County, who was instrumental in guiding it through the Senate. HB 2630 passed the House with help from the influential Representative John Maher (R), who also chairs the Ag Committee.
“Both Senator Dinniman and Representative Maher worked tirelessly to make this a reality,” Jodi Goldberg of All Things Pawsible Animal Rescue said. “They deserve the gratitude of every man, woman, and child in Pennsylvania who love animals and want dogs to be treated humanely with respect.”
“Near the end of an animal’s life, sometimes the most humane choice for a pet is to end its suffering,” Dinniman said. “When that difficult time comes, Pennsylvanians deserve to be sure that their pet or any pet animal is euthanized as humanely and painlessly as possible and by someone specifically trained to do that difficult task.”
HB 2630 is also known as Daniel’s Law, named after a Beagle who survived a gas chamber execution session in Alabama that was fatal for 16 other dogs. Daniel was adopted by dog trainer and activist Joseph Dwyer in New Jersey.
Unlike lethal injection, euthanasia via carbon monoxide gas chambers has been called an inhumane practice that takes up to 30 minutes. The practice is rife with instances of dogs and cats who have survived the procedure — in some cases multiple times — and later been adopted.
Pennsylvania is the twentieth state to ban gas chambers at animal shelters and animal control facilities; other states with a similar ban include New York, Delaware, and New Jersey.