SHARECOMMENTMORE

LANCASTER, Ohio -- After months of emotional debate and protests, a central Ohio county will no longer be euthanizing stray dogs with carbon-monoxide gas.

Fairfield County commissioners voted Tuesday to switch to lethal injection, which is seen as more humane. The shelter said it had been using gas because it was cheaper.

The change puts Fairfield County among the majority of Ohio's 88 counties.

Animal-welfare organizations and the Ohio County Dog Wardens Association say fewer than a dozen shelters still use gas.

The emotional issue culminated in protesters holding signs in front of the county courthouse this past week calling for the change.

The Lancaster Eagle-Gazette reports that the county southeast of Columbus euthanized 578 dogs in 2011.