IDPS HomeInfectious Diseases A-CD-GH-LM-QR-ST-ZDisease ReportingEmerging and Acute Infectious Disease UnitHealthcare SafetyIDPS Health TopicsRelated DSHS SitesRelated Rules & RegulationsZoonosis Control BranchAbout IDPS
  • Contact Us

    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


    E-mail

Euthanasia

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 http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us/Docs/HS/htm/HS.821.htm.

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.

SPECIAL NOTICE: Withdrawal/Termination of Training Waivers Issued by the Office of the Governor

Background: On May 14, 2020, the Office of the Governor issued a waiver pertaining to the temporary suspension of Chapter 829 training requirements for animal control officers (ACOs) and a waiver pertaining to the temporary suspension of Chapter 821 (and associated Texas Administrative Code) training requirements for euthanasia technicians as a result of the March 13, 2020, coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) disaster declaration.  Extensions to these waivers were granted on August 10, 2020, and would be in effect until terminated by the Office of the Governor or until the March 13, 2020, disaster declaration was lifted or expired. 

Update – below is the notice issued on July 19, 2021, pertaining to the withdrawal/termination of training waivers from the Office of the Governor:

  • Effective 12:01 AM on September 1, 2021 withdrawal of waivers (These are the animal control officer and euthanasia technician trainings)
        • 25 TAC § 169.84(g), extension approved on August 10, 2020
        • Texas Health and Safety Code § 821.055(a) and (d), extension approved on August 10, 2020
        • Texas Health and Safety Code § 829.002(1)(A) and (2)(A), extension approved on August 10, 2020
        • Texas Health and Safety Code § 829.004(a) and (b), extension approved on August 10, 2020

      Last updated July 30, 2021