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    Infectious Disease Prevention Section
    Mail Code: 1927
    PO BOX 149347 - Austin, TX 78714-9347
    1100 West 49th Street, Suite G401
    Austin, TX 78714

    Phone: (512) 776-7676
    Fax: (512) 776-7616



Animal Bites   Animal Control   Animal Friendly   Disasters   Pets   Public Places

Animal Topics Animal Topics
(Animals, Animal Control, Animal Shelters, Animals in Disaster, Animals in Public Places, 
 Animal Friendly Program, Animal Ownership, Animal Bites) 

Requirements for Animal Euthanasia

According to Health & Safety Code Chapter 821: 

  1. Injectable sodium pentobarbital is the only form of euthanasia that may be used on dogs and cats in animal shelters.

  2. Anyone (except a veterinarian) who euthanizes animals in an animal shelter must be trained in proper procedures. The Texas Department of State Health Services has developed a  Policy Pertaining to Mandatory Euthanasia Training (Chapter 821) (PDF) to help clarify who needs to take this training.

If you would like more information on these legal requirements, please refer to Texas Health and Safety Code,  Chapter 821, Treatment and Disposition of Animals, Subchapter C at

The Texas Department of State Health Services has developed a process for  approval of euthanasia training courses (PDF).  

Click here for a schedule of animal control continuing education courses, including  DSHS-approved euthanasia training courses.

On May 14, 2020, the Office of the Governor issued a waiver pertaining to the temporary suspension of Chapter 821 training requirements for euthanasia technicians as a result of the March 13, 2020, COVID-19 disaster declaration. An extension to this waiver was granted on August 10, 2020. This extension is in effect until terminated by the Office of the Governor or until the March 13, 2020, disaster declaration is lifted or expires. Notification of the waiver is available at

Last updated August 28, 2020