TAYLORSVILLE, N.C. (AP) -- Officials in Alexander County officials are ending the practice of using a gas chamber to euthanize dogs and cats at the county animal shelter.

The Charlotte Observer reports a $10,000 grant from the Humane Society of the United States has allowed the county to remove the shelter and train staff members to use chemical injections for euthanasia.

County officials also are increasing efforts to encourage residents to adopt animals from the shelter.

Iredell County animal control officials announced about 10 days ago that they also were replacing the gas chamber with chemical injections for euthanasia.

Chairman James Jennings of the Alexander County Board of Commissioners said tearing down the gas chamber would project a more positive image to the community.

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