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City's euthanasia quandry touches state's nerve


IBERIA, MO.-Dangerous dogs that have attacked citizens and strays will now be euthanized as opposed to being shot or gassed.

IBERIA, MO.—Dangerous dogs that have attacked citizens and strays will now be euthanized as opposed to being shot or gassed.

A veterinarian, who wished to remain anonymous, says he will euthanize the dogs for $10 per animal but refused money from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) to do it, fearing reprisal from the animal rights group.

An estimate of three viscious dogs have been shot in the city, outraging citizens who have called upon the mayor to find a more humane way of euthanizing the animals.

Reasonings behind shooting the animals came from the city alderman, who says an alternate form of euthanasia would be too expensive at $65 to $85 per animal.

Fault from stray dogs rummaging through trash and attacking residents fell on the city leaders to take action.

Mayor Bob Crawford says he offered to construct a gas chamber to destroy the animals, but the idea was summarily denounced.

Dr. Taylor Woods, state veterinarian and director of the Missouri Department of Agriculture says the veterinarian's offer to euthanize dogs at less of an expense to the state probably won't solve anything.

"This is such a hot topic between people who want to dispose of unwanted dogs by shooting them or lethal injection, that the problem won't resolve by the lethal injection offering," Woods says.

Woods had sent the city instructions and data on building a chamber made from a wooden box that would emit gas in lethal doses. The chamber was never built, as the director of PETA called to offer money to defray the cost of euthanizing via lethal injection.

No local veterinarians would agree to work with the organization, saying they feared lawsuits could pour in because of the connection, Crawford says.

Although Woods says a gas chamber would be more humane than euthanasia by gunshot, the city has decided to use the anonymous veterinarian's service for euthanasia.

Crawford says he is optimistic that the vicious dog issue may be put to rest once and for all, according to local news reports.

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