With the new year, comes new state laws. One of the laws now in effect deals with animal euthanasia, prohibiting the use of carbon monoxide gas and drowning at animal shelter as ways of putting animals down.
Enforcement Officer Rob Culbertson deals with stray dogs within the City of Erie, and he says these changes are long over due.
"I think they should be done humanely, not with the gas chamber or drowning or any other way," said Culbertson. "They deserve the same respect we do."
For over a year now, the City of Erie has seen increase in the number of stray dogs roaming the streets. Culbertson says he's picking more dogs now then he did just three years ago. He tells us he picked up eight dogs on Wednesday alone.
Culbertson and other animal control agencies brings in stray dogs to the A.N.N.A. Shelter. Manager Kris Gibbens tells us that while they don't practice those methods of euthanasia, she believes its time for those changes in the law to take effect.
"I've heard there are practices going on in certain areas and I don't know for sure the people, but it does happen and it was legal," said Gibbens. "Its nice to see that they're finally changing the laws like that."
Gibbens says sedating the animals, then putting them down is cost effective and pain free. Thanks to this new law, it will now be easier for shelters to get the drugs necessary for more humane ways of euthanasia.
"Its going to make it easier and there'll be less excuses to do it any other way," said Gibbens. "So if they're going to make it easier, if vets can help out or whatever legally needs to be done to get it done, that just goes hand in hand."
The A.N.N.A. Shelter will only put down animals with health and behavioral issues. They have plenty of room and space, and even foster homes for the the cats and dogs.