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Gas Chambers Removed From Rock Springs Animal Control

in animal shelter

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By the Rock Springs Rocket Miner

Rock Springs Animal Control said it marked a monumental day on Dec. 21 when the gas chamber used to euthanize animals was removed for good.

“In the past the gas chamber was a tool to assist Animal Control officers with euthanizing animals, however, with changing times Rock Springs Animal Control has found more humane ways to tackle animal population problems and can do so without the use of carbon monoxide,” the organization said.

Since 2019, Animal Control employees Sarah Nichols, Carly Eversole-Norris, Karalee Wells, and Christina Dyches have made it their mission to remove the gas chamber permanently from the facility.

Mayor Tim Kaumo was essential in directing and authorizing the removal of the gas chamber by the end of 2020.

With help from City Councilman Tim Savage, a point of contact was made with the Humane Society of the United States to secure a $3,000 grant in exchange for demolishing the gas chamber.

According to Sgt. Amanda Salazar, the grant money will be used to make needed improvements at Rock Springs Animal Control’s facility which includes turning the room that once held the gas chamber into an infirmary for sick and infectious animals.

Rock Springs Streets Department employees facilitated the removal of the gas chamber from the shelter and also assisted with removing a second gas chamber (which was used prior to the current one) from a nearby storage area.

Both gas chambers and a steel cage were then transported to Pacific Steel & Recycling to be crushed and recycled.

Rock Springs Animal Control’s focus is to manage animal populations through adoption, education, enforcement, and the ongoing spay and neuter program.

“By continuing to educate the community on the importance of spaying and neutering animals, the need for euthanasia will be considerably lower,” they said.

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Elderly Dog Rejected By Families Became Beloved Mascot at Animal Shelter

in News/dogs

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By Wendy Corr, Cowboy State Daily

Every organization needs a face – that special someone who embodies the spirit and mission of the people who work toward a brighter future. For the Park County Animal Shelter, that face was an elderly white pit bull named Skillet.

Skillet, who passed away last weekend at the age of 13, had been rejected by families twice before becoming a permanent resident of the Park County Animal Shelter in 2017 – the same year he was diagnosed with terminal cancer. 

Executive Director Megan McLean said the shelter decided to keep him as its mascot in order to give him the best life possible.

“Instead of trying to adopt him out for the rest of his life and have him face rejection, because he had been failed so many times before by previous adopters – we didn’t want that for him,” she explained.

Skillet was so popular at the shelter that the staff there decided to put together a “bucket list” for the dog – experiences such as a ride in a fire truck, a trip to Yellowstone National Park, and an appearance in the Cody’s Fourth of July parade.

“It was hard to not fall in love with Skillet,” McLean said. “And so, once people started interacting with him, and they developed that rapport with him, they wanted to follow his story and they wanted to contribute to our project and to our work here.” 

About the time that Skillet became a permanent resident, shelter officials had begun a major fundraising campaign to replace their dangerously dilapidated building. 

McLean observed that media attention to Skillet’s bucket list helped to raise the profile of the animal shelter during the fundraising for the new building, which was necessary because the existing building has mold in the walls and not enough space to safely quarantine sick animals, among other problems. 

“Skillet became a permanent resident of the shelter right around the time that our fundraising campaign really picked up speed,” McLean noted, “and so he really drove that home for us.”

But mostly, Megan saw Skillet as a unifying force in a tumultuous year.

“It was more like Skillet was everybody’s dog – everybody sort of felt a connection to him,” she said. “He really brought the community together.

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