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CA Shelter Dismantles Old Gas Chamber Used To Euthanize Stray Cats, Dogs

COALINGA (CBS/AP) -- An animal welfare organization says the state's last known gas chamber used to euthanize cats and dogs has been dismantled.

The San Francisco SPCA says the police-run chamber in the small town of Coalinga animal shelter was dismantled Friday.

The chamber had been using carbon dioxide gas to end the lives of stray and unwanted dogs and cats. Coalinga is located 150 miles south of San Jose.

Critics say the method causes animals to struggle and suffocate for up 15 minutes before dying.

Representatives of the Humane Society of the United States and the San Francisco SPCA presented Coalinga police Chief Michael Salvador with funds to help the shelter transition to using lethal injections of sodium pentobarbital, a drug that kills animals painlessly in seconds.

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