The bill authorizes animal control officers to administer a tranquilizer to subdue a wild or dangerous animal in an emergency situation, provided that the officer has received training and approval from their authorizing agency. The League supported this bill to ensure cities would have the necessary resources to handle public safety threats related to wild or dangerous animals.
Animal control officers must often react quickly in emergency situations to capture animals that pose a threat to humans, other animals, or themselves. While animal control officers are authorized to kill an injured animal or one posing an immediate safety threat, they have been prohibited from administering a tranquillizer without contemporaneous consultation and direction from a licensed veterinarian. The ability to use a tranquilizer instead offers a more humane alternative that does not jeopardize public safety.
Authorizing animal control officers to administer a tranquillizer after proper training will save time and gives local governments more authority to protect the health and safety of a wild, stray, or abandoned animal and the health and safety of the public.
Under SB 1162, animal control officers will be subject to training, background verification, and must have authorization from their local agency and veterinarian before they would be allowed to administer a tranquilizer in a public safety emergency situation.