Cleveland Co. Animal Shelter to remove gas chamber after public - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

Cleveland Co. Animal Shelter to remove gas chamber after public outcry

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SHELBY, N.C. (AP) -

Cleveland County will stop using a gas chamber for euthanasia of unwanted animals.

Officials say they plan to stop using the gas chamber by the end of June. The change comes after public complaints about the gas chamber.

"We really want to be seen as a community that cares about our animals and works hard to provide a better quality of life for the residents and animals that are here," said Cleveland County Board of Commissioners Chairman, Jason Falls.

Animals will only be euthanized by lethal injection once the chamber is removed. It is not being used now.

Officials say only 18 percent of animals taken to the shelter in 2012 were saved. Last year, 59 percent of the animals were saved.

Falls said the shelter will add 16 more hours each week when the animals will be available for adoption.

Animal Control will continue working with nonprofits, like Operation CARE, that help arrange animal adoptions.

"CARE works nonstop with rescues from across the nation really, organizing to get specific animals out of animal control. Sometimes they are working with rescuers in New York and Pennsylvania," Falls told WBTV.

Officials also are working with the Charlotte Humane Society that will give Cleveland County residents access to a low-cost spay and neuter clinic.

Falls said Animal Control takes in more than 5,000 animals each year.

Animal Control will continue working with nonprofits, like Operation CARE (Clifford's Army Rescue Extravaganza), that help arrange animal adoptions.

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