The end of my first module included writing a 4000 word short story and a 1500 word critical rationale about the process. It was a challenge but one that I really enjoyed, even though my short story topic was very sad.
The Last Supper
The Last Supper is about Evan, a young American Animal Control Officer who starts working at a shelter where they still use gas chambers to euthanize dogs and cats. There are two other characters, Mitch, who has to put down the dogs and cats and George, an older disgruntled ACO. It is both a sad and hopeful story, one close to my heart as I love animals and had the good fortune to volunteer in a shelter that does not use this inhumane method.
The premise for The Last Supper is inspired by two sources: ‘An Animal Control Officer’s Story: From Enforcer to Educator’ (William Ergas Peterson, Between the Species, 1986 http://digitalcommons.calpoly.edu/bts/vol2/iss4/12/), and ‘I put dogs in the gas chamber’ (Anonymous author, published in many locations on the web, see for example, Animal Defenders of Westchester 2006, http://www.all-creatures.org/adow/art-20060816.html).
I cannot share the story on this blog because I am hoping to find a place to publish it. This post is because I wanted to acknowledge my sources of inspiration as well as my support to all those working tirelessly to stop this horrific practice, either in the US or anywhere in the world where a kinder, less painful method of euthanasia is available for a lower cost than gas chambers.
Stop Gassing – Resources
It was an emotional journey writing my story as I learned that 30 American states (see for example, American Humane Association) still legally use gas chambers to euthanize dogs and cats. There is a lot of research and information out there and I am not going to attempt to write an article (yet). I watched a horrific video of animals being subjected to death by gas chamber, and I am thankful that I live in Europe where it was just the one year anniversary banning animal testing for cosmetics .
- American Humane Association Stop Gassing Campaign
- Take Action – Ban Animal Gas Chambers
- Animal Legal Defense Fund: 2013 U.S. Animal Protection Laws Rankings: Comparing Overall Strength and Comprehensiveness 8th Edition
- American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), State & Local Issues – Euthanasia: State laws governing euthanasia, February 2014