UPDATE: Berrien County Commissioners vote unanimously on August 27th to discontinue using the gas chamber to kill their shelter pets. They will stop using the gas chamber within 90 days. Read more about it here.
The Berrien County Board of Commissioners is meeting on Thursday, August 27th, to discuss keeping the carbon monoxide gas chamber at the animal shelter and its continued use in a new facility. Although the debate on animal euthanasia is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. those who wish to make a public comment about the issue need to be there at 8:30 a.m. when the Board meeting begins. The public will be allowed two minutes for each person to make a comment just after roll call and minutes approval. The meeting, which will be held at the Berrien County Administration Center, 701 Main St. in St. Joseph, will include a presentation given to the BOC. While there may be discussion amongst the Board of Commissioners, it is not anticipated that any formal action will be taken during this meeting.
Animal Control Director Val Grimes, who will attend Thursday’s meeting, has endorsed the gas chamber, arguing that it’s safer for staff and less painful for animals. Although other news articles have said that at least six commissioners have stated their willingness to get rid of the gas chamber, none of these commissioners have been named and none of them responded with their position to go on record when emailed by Pet Friends Magazine.
Consider a dog named Sam who sits in a cage in a Berrien County Animal Shelter and sadly waits for its owner to come find him. He wonders, “where are mom and dad?” He had gotten loose from his tie out in the yard and decided to explore. He kept exploring for almost a month. He even ended up in another county after running a lot and hitching a ride with a few passing cars. Then someone found him and brought him to the Berrien County Animal Shelter. His mom and dad didn’t know where he is – they aren’t even searching for him in the right county. Continue reading