July 25, 2014

Medina
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SPCA acquires county’s cat gas chamber, will scrap it

MEDINA — The age of the gas chamber for cats is over in Medina County.

County Commissioners accepted a proposal from the Medina County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals to buy the gas chamber for $1.

The commissioners rescinded a resolution passed last week that put the gas chamber up for bid on a government website after SPCA Executive Director Stephanie Moore told them an anonymous source would donate $10,000 to the SPCA if commissioners handed over the chamber for destruction.

Medina County was one of five Ohio counties that still used a gas chamber to euthanize cats.

The gas chamber at the county animal shelter no longer is needed because commissioners voted in November to pay the SPCA $13,000 a year to take over the job of handling lost, stray, abandoned and unwanted non-feral cats.

“I think everyone is happy,” Commissioner Patricia Geissman said. ‘It’s amazing how you can make a decision based on what you’ve done in the past, and someone else can come up with an idea that just works out better for everyone.”

Moore said the agency will destroy the gas chamber and then scrap the metal. The organization will give the money from the scrap to the county as further compensation. Moore said another donor will match the value of the scrap and give that money to the SPCA.

Moore said the scrap value likely won’t be more than a couple hundred dollars.

She praised the deal and the commissioners.

“It’s a win-win for everybody, especially the animals of Medina County,” she said. “The commissioners definitely made the right choice.”

The gas chamber will have to be disassembled before the SPCA can take possession. Moore said she’s planning a media event at either the shelter or the SPCA so residents can see the apparatus before it is destroyed.

“This is the result of our agreement with the county to help to reduce the stray-cat population,” Moore said. “And when needed, we’re using a more appropriate means of euthanasia — using injections instead of the CO chamber. Chambers are becoming a thing of the past.”

Contact reporter Dan Pompili at (330) 721-4012 or dpompili@medina-gazette.com.