UTAH (ABC4) – Utah is just one of four states that still actively use gas chambers in animal euthanasia.

The practice involves placing an animal into an enclosure, without sedation, where carbon monoxide is released.

The Humane Society has said that the most humane way of euthanization involves an intravenous injection of barbituric acid. Experts say gas chamber euthanasia is a significantly slower death than injection, taking up to 30 minutes while injection takes up to five minutes.

Two shelters in Utah still use the gas chamber method actively. These shelters include the North Utah Valley Animal Shelter (NUVAS) in Lindon and the South Utah Valley Shelter (SUVAS) in Spanish Fork.

A local protest against gas chamber euthanasia was captured on video last week. The protest was held when potential adopters found out the dog they planned to adopt, a 3-year-old husky named Penguin, was euthanized at North Utah Valley Animal Shelter earlier in the month.

The video was posted on TikTok by Samery Moras and has gone viral with over a million views. Since the protest, the shelter has held a board meeting to confirm they have met the requirements for purchasing equipment and substances needed for lethal injection.

The video showed protestors holding pictures of Penguin, calling for an end to gas chambers. Moras described gas chamber euthanasia in graphic detail saying, “They cry out and try desperately to find a way out, some animals even break their own claws as they try in vain to dig their way out of the chamber.”

The shelter had vowed to cease using gas chambers for euthanasia in late 2021, but the practice has since continued. The shelter said in a city council meeting last year that they are slowly making the transition to only utilizing euthanasia by injection and are looking into the advantages and disadvantages of both euthanasia practices.

Currently, 22 states have banned gas chamber euthanasia, five have partial bans in place, and four have no ban but do not utilize the method.

Utah, Wyoming, Missouri, and Ohio are the last states to continue the use of gas chambers in shelters. A recent bill was introduced to ban the practice in Utah and passed through the Senate unanimously. The bill was then held in the House since February and was recently stalled in the Senate without passing.