Animal Protection Rules (40-13-13)
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(1) “Adequate food and water” means food and water which is sufficient in amount and appropriate for the particular type of animal to prevent starvation, dehydration, or a significant risk to the animal’s health from a lack of food or water.
(a) Adequate food means palatable, non-contaminated, and nutritionally adequate food that is fed according to the species requirements or is fed as directed by a veterinarian. Adequate food does not include garbage.
(b) Adequate water means clean, fresh, potable water offered to pets at suitable intervals according to the species requirements, or as dictated by naturally occurring states of hibernation normal for the species, or as directed by a veterinarian.
(2) “Adequate temperature control” means indoor housing facilities for pets are sufficiently heated and/or cooled when necessary to protect the animals from excessive heat or from chilling, freezing or from any physical damage. Except for equines, the ambient temperatures should not be allowed to fall below 45F degrees or rise above 85F degrees, for animals that are not acclimated.
(3) “Adequate ventilation” means indoor housing facilities for pets are adequately ventilated to provide for the health of the animals at all times. Such facilities must be provided with fresh air either by means of windows, doors, vents, fans, or air conditioning and should be ventilated so as to minimize drafts, odors, and moisture condensation.
(4) “Humane care” of animals means, but is not limited to, the provision of adequate heat, ventilation, sanitary shelter, and wholesome and adequate food and water, consistent with the normal requirements and feeding habits of the animal’s size, species, and breed. Inhumane care includes any act, omission, or neglect, which causes unjustifiable physical pain, suffering, or death to any living animal.
(1) General Requirements and Standards:
(a) Classification and separation: Animals exhibiting a vicious disposition must be housed individually. Animals suspected of having a communicable or infectious disease must be separated from other animals and other susceptible species of animals in such a manner as to minimize dissemination of such disease. Pets housed in the same primary enclosure should be maintained in compatible groups. Females who are sexually receptive should not be housed in the same primary enclosure with males, except for breeding purposes.
(b) Drainage: A suitable method must be provided to rapidly eliminate excess water and avoid foul odors therefrom. If closed drainage systems are used, they must be equipped with traps and so installed as to prevent any backup of sewage onto the surface of the primary enclosure.
(c) Housekeeping: Premises (buildings and grounds) must be kept clean and in a state of repair in order to prevent injury or disease. Premises must remain free of accumulations of trash, weeds, debris, and other vermin harborage areas.
(d) Humane care: Humane care must be provided in all facilities anytime an animal is present.
(e) Interior surface: The interior surfaces of indoor housing facilities must be constructed and maintained so they are substantially impervious to moisture and may be readily cleaned and sanitized.
(f) Lighting: General lighting in indoor housing facilities should be diffused throughout the animal holding area and provide sufficient illumination to protect animal health, allow adequate housekeeping practices, and adequate inspection.
(g) Pest control: An effective program for the prevention, control, and elimination, of vermin, insects, ectoparasites, and avian and mammalian pests must be established and maintained. Vegetation must be manicured to prevent vermin harborage.
(h) Record keeping: Complete and accurate records must be maintained reflecting all acquisitions, purchases, sales, releases, natural additions, exchanges, adoptions, custodial care, and health records of all animals. Retail sale records for fish, rodents, and invertebrates are exempt from record keeping requirement. These records must be maintained for a period of twelve months and must be made available to the Commissioner or his authorized representative upon request.
In addition, records for dogs, cats, birds, and equine shall include, but are not limited to, name, address, and phone number of individual(s) involved in the transaction, date of transaction or activity, type and number of animals, and Georgia Department of Agriculture animal protection/ stable license number, if applicable.
(i) Sanitation of primary enclosures: Primary enclosures for pets must be cleaned at a frequency and intensity to
provide a healthy and hygienic environment in order to prevent disease hazards. Excreta must be removed to prevent
contamination of the animals contained therein and to reduce the spread of disease. Soiled bedding should be removed
and replaced with fresh materials as often as is necessary to keep the animals clean and dry. For hard surfaces that are
conducive to cleaning with water, frequent flushing with water and periodic use of detergents or disinfectants should be
used to maintain sufficiently clean surfaces. When a hosing or flushing method is used for cleaning, animals contained in
the enclosure must be removed unless the enclosure is large enough to ensure the animals would not be harmed, wetted,
or distressed during the process. Animals in nearby enclosures must be protected from being contaminated with water
and other wastes during the cleaning. Enclosures may be disinfected by using appropriate chemicals, hot water, or a
combination of both. If hot water is used as a means of disinfection, the temperature of the water must be at least 145
degrees F. Aquariums as a closed ecosystem have special needs and they must be maintained in a balance necessary
for the health of its inhabitants by means of ph control, filtration, biodegradation and the like.
(j) Releasing (selling/adopting) of injured, diseased, or abnormal animals: Reasonable care must be taken to avoid
releasing for sale, trade, or adoption any pet that has an apparent disease, injury, or has a health related malady. Any pet
that has an apparent injury, disease, or health related malady can only be released for sale, trade, or adoption provided
the person receiving the animal is made aware of the condition in writing at the time of transfer.
(k) Shelter from rain, snow or cold: Pets maintained in outdoor housing establishments must be provided with access to
suitable shelter to remain dry during rain or snow and protect them from wind and excessive heat or cold. Sufficient and
clean bedding material or other reasonable means of protection from the weather elements must be provided.
(l) Shelter from sunlight: When sunlight is likely to cause overheating or suffering, sufficient shade must be provided to
allow all pets protection from the direct effects of the sun.
(m) Space requirements: Primary enclosures must provide sufficient space to allow each animal to turn about freely and
to easily stand, sit, lie, perch, swim, etc. in a comfortable and normal position.
(n) Storage: Supplies, food, and bedding should be stored in an adequate manner to protect against infestation,
contamination, or spoilage. Refrigeration should be provided for perishable items.
(o) Structural strength: Indoor and outdoor housing for pets shall be maintained in good repair. The primary enclosure
should be of sufficient strength to contain the animals securely and restrict the entrance of unwanted animals. The walls
and/or sides, roof and/or ceiling, and floors and/or bottoms of the primary enclosures must be constructed, so as to,
protect the animals from injury or suffering. For primary enclosures, with grated or mesh bottoms housing dogs and cats,
there must be a suitable resting surface that will allow the animal to sit and lie in a normal position. Vertically stacked
enclosures must have receptacles to contain excreta between cages.
(p) Tethering of animals: It is presumed that tethering of animals for more than three consecutive days is considered
permanent tethering and such permanent tethering as a means of a primary enclosure is prohibited. For temporary
tethering of animals, such chains or other tethering devices must be of adequate length to satisfy the space requirements
of a primary enclosure. Tethering devices must be of a type commonly used for the size animal involved and should be
attached to the animal by means of a well fitted and appropriate device (i.e., collar, halter, or harness).
(q) Waste disposal: Provisions must be made for the regular and safe removal and disposal of animal and food wastes,
bedding, dead animals, and debris, so as to minimize vermin infestation, contamination, odors, and disease hazards.
Disposal of dead animals must be by burial or incineration. Legal permission from the appropriate authorities or
landowner must be obtained, prior to, burial on any public or private land. Disposal of dead animals in wells, waterways,
or wetlands of any kind is strictly prohibited.
(2) Minimum Age: Pets that are sold, offered for sale, exchanged, or offered for adoption must be at the minimum age to sell. Written recommendations for the appropriate feeding and care must be provided at the time of the transaction for those animals that are not independent of parental nurturing.
(3) A licensed stable shall maintain proof of a negative test for Equine Infectious Anemia within the past twelve months on all equine on the premise.
(4) Functional fire extinguishing devices shall be present in each facility of all license holders under this chapter. Operational smoke detectors are recommended.
(1) The use of sodium pentobarbital or a derivative of it shall be the exclusive method for euthanasia of dogs and cats by animal shelters or other facilities which are operated for the collection and care of stray, neglected, abandoned, or unwanted animals. A lethal solution shall be used in the following order of preference:
(a) Intravenous injection by hypodermic needle: Venipuncture of a superficial vein, preferably the cephalic or lateral
saphenous is the method to be used on all dogs and cats except for the following:
1. Animals too small to effectively perform a venipunture,
2. Intractable or dangerous animals, or
3. Animals in which superficial venous pressure is insufficient for effective venipuncture. If venipuncture cannot be
performed for one of the above reasons, then the following method may be used.
(b) Intraperitoneal injection by hypodermic needle: Two to three times the recommended intravenous dosage should
be injected into the abdominal cavity through the midabdominal region. Intraperitoneal injection may be the alternative
method used for animals described in (a) (1), (2), and (3) above. The time between injection and death is not immediate
as with intravenous injection, therefore, a proper amount of time should be allowed for chemical absorption and action
prior to an alternative method being used.
(c) If the dog or cat is unconscious, intracardial injection by hypodermic needle; intracardial injection by thoracic cavity
penetration is to be used on comatose animals only.
(2) Under no circumstance shall a chamber using commercially bottled carbon monoxide gas or other lethal gas or a chamber which causes a change in body oxygen by means of altering atmospheric pressure or which is connected to an internal combustion engine and uses the engine exhaust for euthanasia purposes be permitted.
(3) Notwithstanding subsection (1) of this rule, any substance which is clinically proven to be as humane as sodium pentobarbital and which has been officially recognized as such by the American Veterinary Medical Association, may be used in lieu of sodium pentobarbital to perform euthanasia on dogs and cats. Succinylcholine chloride, curare, curariform mixtures, or any substance that acts as a neuromuscular blocking agent may not be used on a dog or cat in lieu of sodium pentobarbital for euthanasia purposes. The State Veterinarian will maintain a list of approved inhalants and injectable solutions that may be used for humane euthanasia.
(4) In cases of extraordinary circumstance where the dog or cat poses an extreme risk or danger to the veterinarian, physician, or lay person performing euthanasia , such person shall be allowed the use of any other substance or procedure that is humane to perform euthanasia on such dangerous dog or cat.
(5) A dog or cat may be tranquilized with an approved and humane substance before euthanasia is performed.
(6) Euthanasia shall be performed by a licensed veterinarian or physician or lay person who is properly trained in the proper and humane use of a method of euthanasia. Euthanasia, which is performed by a layperson, shall be observed by at least one other employee.
(7) A layperson performing euthanasia by injection must be under the supervision of a licensed veterinarian or physician. This shall not be construed, so as to require, that a veterinarian or physician be present at the time euthanasia is performed.
(8) A letter, stating which layperson(s) is properly trained for a method of euthanasia shall be on file at the animal shelter and with the Georgia Department of Agriculture.
(9) No dog or cat may be left unattended between the times euthanasia procedures are first begun and the time death occurs, nor may its body be disposed of until death is confirmed by a qualified person.
(10) The supervising veterinarian shall be subject to all record-keeping requirements and inspection requirements of the State Board of Pharmacy pertaining to sodium pentobarbital and other drugs authorized under paragraph (3) of this rule section and may limit the quantity of possession of sodium pentobarbital and other authorized drugs to ensure compliance with the provision of this Code section.
(11) Euthanasia records shall be kept on forms approved by the Georgia Department of Agriculture and the State Board of Pharmacy and shall be signed by the person performing euthanasia and the witness.
(12) Euthanasia records shall be maintained for a period of one (1) year and shall be made available to the Commissioner of Agriculture or his duly authorized representative for inspection upon request.
(13) The Animal Shelter must be registered with the Drug Enforcement Administration prior to the storage of any controlled substance.
(14) The storage of any controlled substance must be in an approved, secure safe or if a lockable storage container is used it must be approved by the Georgia Department of Agriculture and be strictly maintained under double lock and key.
(15) The Commissioner or his authorized agent shall have the right to obtain a sample of the euthanasia agents for analysis.
(16) Species other than dogs and cats should be humanely euthanized by a method recommended by the American Veterinary Medical Association, when such recommendation exists.
(1) Current License: It is unlawful for any person to act as a pet dealer or operate an animal shelter, kennel, or stable unless such person has a valid license issued by the Commissioner of Agriculture. Any person acting without a license in violation of this subsection shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.