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Alexander County ends use of gas chamber for animals

Alexander County officials say they have stopped using a gas chamber to euthanize dogs and cats at the county animal shelter.

A $10,000 grant from the Humane Society of the United States has enabled the county to remove the gas chamber and train staff members to use chemical injections for euthanasia.

Alexander County officials also say they are stepping up efforts to encourage residents to adopt animals from the shelter.

“The Alexander County Animal Shelter is working hard to get adoptable animals into safe rescues and loving homes,” said Kim Alboum, North Carolina director of the Humane Society. “They need community support to take the program to the next level.”

Iredell County animal control officials announced earlier this month that they also were replacing the gas chamber with chemical injections for euthanasia.

Alexander County Board of Commissioners chairman James Jennings said that by tearing down the gas chamber, “We feel we project a more positive image to our community.”

“Being a small facility, we depend on the community’s support to help us improve the lives of the animals that are entrusted into our care,” Jennings said.

He said the county offers a low-cost spay/neuter program through two local veterinary hospitals, and provides two rabies clinics a year.

Animal control officials say they are able to find homes, through adoption, for about half the 1,500 animals received annually at the shelter.

Lyttle: 704-358-6107;

Twitter: @slyttle
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