euthanasia

Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

State lawmakers are a step closer to telling Michigan animal shelters how they can euthanize dogs, cats and ferrets.

Most Michigan animal shelters put down dogs and cats using lethal injection. A bill passed by the state Senate Agriculture Committee recently would mandate all shelters use injection.

There are a handful of shelters that still use gas chambers to euthanize unwanted or unhealthy dogs and cats.

Deborah Schutt is the chairperson of the Michigan Pet Fund Alliance. She says gassing is painful and not humane.

user ak_rus / Flickr

DETROIT (AP) - The Michigan Humane Society's board is bringing in an outside expert to evaluate how the organization decides which dogs go for adoption and which dogs are killed.

The Detroit News and the Detroit Free Press report the board voted Monday. Kelley Bollen, director of behavior programs for the Maddie's Fund Shelter Medicine Program at Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine, will evaluate "canine evaluation protocols."

A broader examination could be considered later.

Four of 18 board members at the Michigan Humane Society have  resigned since June amid questions about the rate of euthanizing dogs and cats. The organization's overall euthanasia rate has been 70 percent for the past four years, including 17,000 in 2010.

The organization defends its practices, noting it takes in all types of animals, including abused ones.

Saving Animals

Jun 13, 2011

There’s been a big controversy lately involving the Michigan Humane Society -- and by extension, every animal shelter in the state. It has to do with how many animals they have to kill.

This started a week ago, when two members of the society’s board of directors resigned because they thought the non-profit agency was euthanizing far too many animals.

“Our donors are giving us money to save lives,” one of them said, adding that she thought what was happening was an outrage.