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Activists protest Utah animal shelter's euthanasia methods

Posted at 10:02 PM, Jun 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-16 00:02:08-04

OREM, Utah — Animal activists are imploring city leaders to force significant changes at an Orem animal shelter.

Their concerns center on the North Utah Valley Animal Shelter’s use of carbon monoxide gas as a form of euthanasia.

“This shelter that services Orem is one of only four in the entire country that is killing dogs and cats in a carbon monoxide gas chamber,” said Jeremy Beckham, the executive director of the Utah Animal Rights Coalition. “These shelters that are still doing this are woefully outdated.”

Beckham led a group of protesters into the Orem City Council meeting to share their concerns.

They unfurled a roll of paper with thousands of names of Utah residents who signed an online petition asking the shelter to stop using carbon monoxide.

During the public comment session, one woman who addressed the council said she once worked at the shelter and saw the gas chambers with her own eyes.

“I need you to know these animals suffered. They screamed. They broke claws trying to get out. They howled,” she said. “I need you to know I am not OK and I will never be OK for the rest of my life because of what is still happening down the street from me.”

The public comment session ended with the council thanking the activists for their participation.

Members indicated they were going to meet with the shelter’s director to learn more before taking appropriate action.

Activists want the shelter to use the more common lethal injection as its exclusive method of euthanasia.

FOX 13 reached out to the shelter Tuesday evening but did not receive a reply.