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Texas Administrative Code

§169.81. Purpose. 
The purpose of this subchapter is to set minimum standards for allowable methods of 
euthanasia for an animal(s) in the custody of an animal shelter, in accordance with the Texas 
Health and Safety Code, Chapter 821. 
The provisions of this §169.81 adopted to be effective May 6, 2004, 29 TexReg 4168; amended to be effective July 
12, 2009, 34 TexReg 4527; amended to be effective December 1, 2013, 38 TexReg 8246 
§169.82. Definitions. 
The following words and terms, when used in this subchapter, shall have the following 
meanings, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise. 
 (1) Animal shelter--A facility that collects, impounds, or keeps stray, homeless, 
abandoned, or unwanted animals. 
 (2) Department--The Department of State Health Services. 
The provisions of this §169.82 adopted to be effective May 6, 2004, 29 TexReg 4168; amended to be effective July 
12, 2009, 34 TexReg 4527; amended to be effective December 1, 2013, 38 TexReg 8246 
§169.83. Animal Identification and Owner Notification. 
Prior to euthanasia, each animal should first be scanned for microchip identification and 
searched for identification tattoos; at a minimum, the abdomen, inner thighs, and inside ear flaps 
should be searched for tattoos. If identification is located on an animal or the animal is wearing 
a tag(s), reasonable efforts to locate and notify the animal’s owner shall be made and 
documented prior to euthanasia. 
The provisions of this §169.83 adopted to be effective July 12, 2009, 34 TexReg 4527; amended to be effective 
December 1, 2013, 38 TexReg 8246 
§169.84. Allowable Methods of Euthanasia. 
(a) Only sodium pentobarbital may be used to euthanize a dog or cat in the custody of an 
animal shelter. 
 Chapter 821 Rules - 2 Zoonosis Control – 1/14
(b) When sodium pentobarbital is used to euthanize a dog or cat, the following 
requirements apply. 
 (1) The preferential route of administration of sodium pentobarbital is intravenous 
injection by hypodermic needle. Other routes considered to be acceptable are: 
 (A) intraperitoneal injection by hypodermic needle; or 
 (B) intra-organ, limited to intraosseous, intracardiac, intrahepatic, 
intrasplenic, and intrarenal, injection by hypodermic needle. 
 (2) Any injection must be administered using a new, undamaged sterilized 
hypodermic needle of a size suitable for the size and species of the animal. 
(3) Injection shall be conducted in an area out of public view and out of the view 
of another animal, except when euthanizing unweaned/nursing animals with their mother; when 
euthanizing a mother animal with her offspring, the mother animal shall be euthanized first 
immediately followed by euthanasia of her offspring. Additionally, the carcass(es) of any 
animal(s) shall be removed from the euthanasia area prior to a live animal(s) entering that area. 
 (4) The area used for injection shall be in a quiet location and have sufficient 
lighting to allow for visual accuracy during the injection process. 
 (5) A dose of sodium pentobarbital appropriate for the animal’s weight shall be 
administered to that animal through the route most appropriate for that animal. 
 (6) Each animal given sodium pentobarbital by intraperitoneal injection must be 
given 3 to 4 times the intravenous dose. 
 (7) Each animal given sodium pentobarbital by intraperitoneal injection shall be 
placed in a quiet, darkened area and, except when euthanizing unweaned/nursing animals with 
their mother, separated from physical contact with any other animal(s) during the dying process. 
When euthanizing a mother animal with her offspring, the mother animal shall be euthanized 
first immediately followed by euthanasia of her offspring. 
 (8) Intra-organ injection shall not be used unless the animal is unconscious or 
anesthetized so that the animal is unable to feel pain. 
(9) The carcass of any animal(s) euthanized by sodium pentobarbital must be 
stored and disposed of in a manner that minimizes the potential for scavenging by animals or 
(c) Any animal other than a dog or cat, including birds and reptiles, in the custody of an 
animal shelter shall be humanely euthanized only in accordance with the methods, 
recommendations, and procedures of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) in Zoonosis Control - 1/14 Chapter 821 Rules - 3
the latest edition of the AVMA Guidelines for the Euthanasia of Animals applicable to that 
species of animal. 
 (d) When commercially compressed carbon monoxide gas is used to euthanize an 
animal(s), the following requirements apply. 
 (1) It must be performed in a commercially manufactured carbon monoxide 
chamber or one designed and constructed, at a minimum, to equal the effectiveness of a 
commercially manufactured chamber. 
 (2) The chamber must be located outdoors or in a well-ventilated room. 
 (3) The chamber must be airtight and equipped with the following: 
(A) an exhaust fan for indoor chambers which is capable of evacuating all 
gas from the chamber prior to the chamber being opened and is connected by a gas-type duct to 
the outdoors; 
 (B) a gas flow regulator and flow meter for the canister; 
 (C) a gas concentration gauge; 
 (D) an accurate temperature gauge for monitoring the interior of the 
 (E) if located indoors, a carbon monoxide monitor on the exterior of the 
chamber that is connected to an audible alarm system, which will sound in the room containing 
the chamber; 
 (F) explosion-proof electrical equipment if equipment is exposed to 
carbon monoxide; 
 (G) a view-port with either internal lighting or external lighting sufficient 
to allow visual surveillance of any animal(s) within the chamber; and 
 (H) if designed to euthanize more than one animal at a time, independent 
sections or cages to separate individual animals. 
(4) The gas concentration process must achieve at least a 6% carbon monoxide 
gas concentration not to exceed 10% due to flammability and explosiveness throughout the 
chamber within 5 minutes after the introduction of carbon monoxide into the chamber is 
 (5) The ambient temperature inside the chamber should not exceed 85 degrees 
Fahrenheit (29.4 degrees Celsius) when it contains a live animal(s). For an outdoor chamber, 
achievement may be facilitated by use of the chamber during early morning. Chapter 821 Rules - 4 Zoonosis Control – 1/14
 (6) All equipment, as specified in paragraph (3)(A) - (H) of this subsection, must 
be in proper working order and used at all times during the operation of the chamber. 
 (7) An animal(s) must be left in the chamber with a continuous gas supply for a 
minimum of 15 minutes. 
 (8) The chamber must be thoroughly vented prior to removing any carcasses. 
 (9) The chamber must be thoroughly cleaned after the completion of each cycle. 
Chamber surfaces must be constructed and maintained so they are impervious to moisture and 
can be readily sanitized. 
(10) Operation, maintenance, and safety instructions and guidelines must be 
displayed prominently in the area containing the chamber. 
 (11) Carbon monoxide shall not be used to euthanize any animal reasonably 
presumed to be less than 16 weeks of age. Carbon monoxide shall also not be used to euthanize 
any animal that could be anticipated to have decreased respiratory function, such as the elderly, 
sick, injured, or pregnant. Such animals may be resistant to the effects of carbon monoxide and 
the time required to achieve death in these animals may be significantly increased. In animals 
with decreased respiratory function, carbon monoxide levels rise slowly, making it more likely 
that these animals will experience elevated levels of stress. 
 (12) Only compatible animals of the same species may be placed in the chamber 
 (13) No live animal(s) may be placed in the chamber with a dead animal(s). 
(e) Prior to using any method of euthanasia, all available measures should be taken to 
minimize the fear, anxiety, and distress of the animal scheduled for euthanasia. 
 (f) When using any of the allowable methods of euthanasia, each animal must be 
monitored between the time euthanasia procedures have commenced and the time death occurs, 
and the animal’s body must not be disposed of until death is confirmed by examination of the 
animal for cessation of vital signs. 
 (g) As specified under the Texas Health and Safety Code, §821.055, a person (excluding 
licensed veterinarians) may not euthanize any animal in the custody of an animal shelter unless 
the person has successfully completed a training course in the proper methods and techniques for 
euthanizing animals not later than three years before the date the person euthanizes the animal. 
The training course must be pre-approved by the department. A person has until the 120th day 
following the date of initial employment to complete this training. 
The provisions of this §169.84 adopted to be effective July 12, 2009.
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