COLUMBUS COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — Columbus County Animal Control is requesting approval to use dart guns.
Animal Control Manager Joey Prince says they currently use traps, but traps don’t always work. Prince says they have an issue with some dogs and cats being too smart for the traps. They either avoid the traps or go in, eat the food used as bait, and then back out without touching the mechanism that trips the trap.
Prince plans to ask County Commissioners for approval to use dart guns when traps are ineffective in catching the animals
Prince says animal control officers would also dart those animals who are showing signs of a rabies infection or those who are hurt and sick.
Prince says this would not be a cure-all for these types of situations, but it would give them an additional tool to use to try to serve the people and animals of the county better.
Overall, Prince says the use of darts would be limited to specific situations where the safety of the public is at risk.
Officers would be required to complete a certification course in the use of these before they could deploy them.
“While these are not held to be lethal, we plan on treating them the same as handguns in our protocols,” Prince said.
According to standard operation procedures supplied by Prince, Columbus County animal control officers must complete a refresher training course every five years to operate the device.
Prince plans to make the request at tonight’s Columbus County Commission meeting.