North Utah Valley Animal Shelter switches from euthanasia by gas chamber to injection

Protesters have pleaded with the shelter to stop the use of carbon monoxide.

(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) North Utah Valley Animal Services, an animal shelter in Lindon on Thursday, April 28, 2022.

The director of a Utah County animal shelter said Wednesday that the facility is now using injection as its sole mode of euthanasia.

The North Utah Valley Animal Shelter, located in Lindon, had previously been using gas chambers filled with carbon monoxide to euthanize animals. But on Wednesday, director Tug Gettling told The Salt Lake Tribune via email that the shelter’s two gas chambers have been disconnected, and the carbon monoxide cylinders have been removed.

“We now conduct 100% of all animal euthanasia using injection of sodium pentobarbital and have been doing so for the last few months,” Gettling wrote, adding that there is no carbon monoxide currently housed in the shelter.

Reports that Gettling would be making an announcement about the gas chambers at the shelter board’s December meeting are false, he wrote, because the board isn’t meeting in December.

(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) Tug Gettling, director of North Utah Valley Animal Services, speaks during a meeting of the North Utah Valley Animal Services Special Service District board in Pleasant Grove on Thursday, April 28, 2022.

As for the carbon monoxide units, Gettling said that “eventually” they will be removed from the facility, but not before the end of the year.

The American Animal Hospital Association states that injection by sodium pentobarbital is considered “the only acceptable method for most companion animals.” The position of the American Veterinary Medical Association is more nuanced, and states that euthanasia by carbon monoxide is acceptable as long as certain contingencies are met.

Still, protesters have pleaded for the shelter to discontinue its use of gas chambers. The Humane Society of the United States says euthanasia by injection is “the most humane method of euthanasia currently available.”