I was a counselor for many years. I attempted to understand why people choose specific behaviors, and if if those behaviors were detrimental, help them find a better way.
I rarely watch animal horror videos. They haunt me. Yet, as a person fiercely against the gas chamber it was my duty to witness what these defenseless creatures endure.
The dogs happily wagged their tails as they were released from their enclosures. Then, one by one, were thrown with depraved indifference into a dumpster; deafening howls crying for mercy.
He nonchalantly closes the cover and walks to the gas apparatus; screaming chorus grows to a soul-piercing level. Silence. Like clock-work, a sanitation truck pulls up: lifts, dumps, and drives away. Nobody had the moral decency to check if the torture victims were actually dead.
Though this video was not filmed in Utah, it told all “gassed” shelter pets stories. This piece is not a call for a loon to threaten shelter workers, which is antithetical to the no-kill movement, but a dire plea for change.
I had to process what sort of human being could participate in this barbaric process. My analysis?
Workers who kill by gas chamber lie to themselves. We live in a world where cruelty is packaged nicely. Most people don’t want to see the process of their choices or what they ignore. That’s why the curtain is quickly closed during a botched human execution.
It’s ill temporal comfort to close the door, turn the handle, and remove a being you just killed, without witnessing, their intense suffering in death. For gas chamber workers lethal injection leaves them emotionally vulnerable; to hold, comfort, and pierce with death. For an animal it’s being trapped in hell.
Some Utah politicians believe the gas chamber is painless and others marvel why people care about a mere animal. For as these sentient beings give their lives for human created misery and disaster relief; Utah reps pay it forward with a excruciatingly violent death.
I love God. He is my refuge. I hear many in Utah feel the same way. Each of us must examine our own soul. Yet, if you participate, support, or ignore the “gassing” of shelter animals you need to stop running from your shadow and face what you’ve become. If not, I forewarn you. Eventually a situation will appear in your life where you will experience, in some form, that which you sow.
For we will all be judged on how we treated not kings and queens who could potentially give to us; but helpless beings in their darkest hour. Creatures who ask for nothing — except to live. Animals framed for a crime their owners committed.
Recently social media advocates learned the north Utah pound in Lindon would no longer be posting updates on their website on whether animals in their care were gassed or rescued. This denial of transparency will lead to more shelter pets deaths.
Many advocates spend hours a day attempting to find rescue for shelter animals. The least any pound can do is be honest about outcomes. This allows good-hearted people to fulfill their pledges to cash-strapped animal rescues. And, takes away the anguish of not knowing what happened to a creature they were fighting for.
The Utah public needs to demand a revival of recently failed Senate Bill 155 sponsored by Sen. Karen Mayne, D-Kearns, which would mandate shelter transparency. And they must lobby their representatives to resurrect and pass former state Sen. Peter Knudson’s (saint of Utah shelter pets) bill to ban the gas chamber.
Utahans, you have the power to be homeless animals voice. You can advocate with fierce intensity that “gassing” be abolished and seek transparency for that which you fund.
Utah pound workers should also speak out to outlaw the “gassing” of animals. You would be removing the blindfold from your eyes and melting the fortress around your hearts. You may also restore your soul in the process.
May no more claw marks be etched in your walls.
Dana Fuchs, Ph.D., is a writer and animal advocate living in Long Beach, N.Y. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org