Jennicat, I do understand what you are saying. If the animals are left for days on end without exercise and contact, why don't the people in your area volunteer at the shelter(s)? All too often I hear the complaints and arguments you've cited, yet these same people always have an excuse for why they don't/won't volunteer their time. Usually it goes along the lines of "I couldn't take it knowing the dogs or cats will be euthanized.", or "I love animals too much to volunteer at a place like this.", or "I'd want to adopt them all." as they walk out adopting none. As it stands now, I have been the only volunteer at the shelter for the past 2 years.
Euthanization policies do need to be changed, but not at the expense of the shelter staff and volunteers. PETA, and their proponents, need to face realities.
"In our area" people do go to the shelters and exercise and socialize with the animals. However, it's not practical for the people living here in the urban areas to drive 3+ hours out to the rural counties to socialize their animals. (Although many rescues do routinely make trips out to these hellholes to pull the animals there off of death row.)
I already run a small animal rescue, mostly out of pocket. I also volunteer with several organizations in our area to help animals. We have a LOT of volunteers in this area. I think I'm doing as much as I can without drive 6 hours round trip every week to the mountains.
I'm sorry, but "it's not practical" is never going to be an acceptable excuse to me not to give an animal a humane death. If we're going by practicality, it'd be much more practical to let them die out on the streets rather than wasting money by keeping them in a shelter.
If giving injections is so bad for shelter staff (and I have been friends with many shelter staff), why is it not that much worse to watch 10 to 15 animals screaming in terror and ripping each other apart. What sort of person is more upset by watching an animal quietly pass into sleep than watching it howling, screaming, vomiting, defecating itself in terror, and tearing it's cagemates to pieces as it dies? In that thought, what sort of person would rather save themselves the heartache of euthanising at animal at the expense of the animal going to an inhumane death? My friends who work at the shelter are all torn by having to euthanize animals. But they also recognize the importance of having a caring person to help those animals pass.
Due to their disingenuous practices, I do have to question whether PETA's members actually gave all of those animals a quiet, dignified death through injection or used some other method.
That I can't say, obviously, as I am not a member of Peta. However, when 2 of their number were arrested for taking pets, they did in fact have needles and euthanasia drugs in their possession.
In case anyone doesn't know about gas chambers, here's a quote from someone who worked at a shelter who gassed about the animals' deaths:
Documentation shows that with gas chamber killing, animals have been seen struggling and wailing for up to ten minutes before death, some biting themselves and each other in panic, beating their heads against the chamber walls, choking and vomiting while being forced to inhale carbon monoxide. Groups of up to 20 animals are often gassed together and their bodies show the wounds inflicted during their terror.
Sometimes the animals don't die if they don't get enough of the gas. They wake up, alive, in plastic bags, and often suffocate under the corpses of other animals.