How some counties in Michigan euthanize their pets can give the state a black eye and hurt tourism, said State Rep. Rick Jones, R-Grand Ledge.

Jones sponsored House Bill 6042 that stops the state from using "pet gas chambers" to euthanize cats and dogs at shelters.

The bill just came out of the Agriculture committee and is awaiting a second reading.

"It doesn't do any good to have this archaic system of a gas chamber for dogs and cats," Jones said. "It is starting to get up on blogs around the country. We want to be known as a tourism center. We don't want to be known as 'gas chamber Michigan.' "

Stay Engaged

Receive our weekly emails!

Jones said 85,000 people signed a petition online asking the Legislature to pass the bill.

"I had no idea (of its popularity)," he said.

Jones said 11 of the 83 counties in Michigan use gas chambers for pets. Midland and Lake counties are in the process of converting to the injection method.

According to the American Humane Association, it is less costly to euthanize a pet by injection than by the gas chamber. It's $4.98 per animal to euthanize via carbon monoxide poisoning and $2.29 to do it via injection.