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38 TulsaPets
March/April 2014
new proposals that will greatly impact animal welfare in
our state. House Bills 2553 and 2764 were introduced to
our representatives earlier in the year and are currently
up for vote. It is imperative that we contact our legislators
and voice our support for these two measures.
Oklahoma HB 2553 would mandate an animal abuse
registry in Oklahoma, requiring any person over the age
of 18 who has been convicted of a felony animal cruelty
violation, specifically §1680-1700 of Title 21 of the
Oklahoma Statutes, to register with the sheriff of the
county in which he or she lives. Registration would be
required each year for 15 years and would include those
individuals who have been convicted of similar crimes in
other states who move to Oklahoma.
During that 15-year period of registration, the animal
abuser cannot have any animal in his or her care, custody,
control or management.This registry would be maintained
by each county sheriff and would be public knowledge.
Suffolk County, New York, was the first community to
pass an animal abuse registry in 2010, and since then,
many have followed in their footsteps. A registry would
help Oklahoma prevent animal abuse as well as other
crimes which are closely related to animal abuse.
According to the Animal Legal Defense Fund, animal
abusers are five times more likely to commit violent
crimes against people and four times more likely to
commit property crimes than those who do not have a
history of animal abuse. In addition, the recidivism rate
in animal abuse is extremely high, and in some types of
abuse, like animal hoarding, it is nearly 100 percent.
Implementing an animal abuse registry would give our
law enforcement officers and animal welfare advocates a
way to keep these abusers away from animals that may
become future victims and may help to reduce other
potential crimes in our communities.
SB1729 would prohibitthe use of carbon monoxide gas
chambers for animal euthanasia. This bill applies to any
dog, cat or other animal kept for pleasure rather than
utility, in any household, animal shelter or agency.
The language of the bill allows for euthanasia by any
method approved by the Animal Industries Services
Division of the State Department of Agriculture other
than curariform derivative drugs and carbon monoxide
It specifies measures that must be taken to ensure that
euthanasia of the animal is humane and physically safe
for the personnel responsible for euthanizing. Some
counties in Oklahoma still use carbon monoxide gas
chambers, and this law would prohibit that practice across
the state.
According to the American Veterinary Medical
Association, all inhaled methods of euthanasia have the
potential to negatively affect the animal. This is because
the onset of unconsciousness is not immediate. There is
concern among professionals that too many variables
are involved with delivering carbon monoxide euthanasia
to ensure that the animal does not experience pain
and suffering.
Often the animal does not lose consciousness for 45
to 60 seconds, and research suggests that many are
in distress during this time. In addition, standard
procedures used for administration of gas are not
uniformly effective for kittens and puppies, older animals
or those that have physical impairments. More detailed
information on this process can be found in the 2013
Edition of the AVMA Guidelines for the Euthanasia
of Animals.
While it is disheartening for us to be forced to choose a
method of euthanasia, until we get animal population
under control, there is no alternative. For now, the most
compassionate choice available is to make sure that the
method and process of euthanizing animals is done in
the most humane way possible to prevent any suffering
or distress that the animal may experience in those
last moments.
As Oklahomans, we have a responsibility to live up to
our reputation as kind, caring people, and we can do that
by speaking out for those who have no voice. Please
contact your legislatures and show support for these
measures. Go to to
find your
legislators and their contact information.
Dani Weaver / President, Paw Law