1998 Regular Session
To: County Affairs; Municipalities
By: Senator(s) Smith
Senate Bill 2344
AN ACT TO PROVIDE FOR THE CERTIFICATION OF ANIMAL CONTROL OFFICERS; TO PROHIBIT EMPLOYMENT OF ANIMAL CONTROL OFFICERS WHO ARE NOT CERTIFIED; TO ENACT DEFINITIONS; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. (1) For the purposes of this section, "animal control officer" means any person employed or appointed by a county or municipality who is authorized to investigate, on public or private property, civil infractions relating to animal control or cruelty and to issue citations as provided in this section. An animal control officer is not authorized to bear arms or make arrests; however, such officer may carry a device to chemically subdue and tranquilize an animal, provided that such officer has successfully completed a minimum of forty (40) hours of training in marksmanship, equipment handling, safety and animal care, and can demonstrate proficiency in chemical immobilization of animals in accordance with guidelines prescribed in the Chemical Immobilization Operational Guide of the American Humane Association.
(2) (a) Animal control officers shall successfully complete forty (40) or more hours of a minimum standards training course that is either offered by or approved by the Mississippi Board of Veterinary Medicine. Such course shall include, but is not limited to, training for: animal cruelty investigations, search and seizure, animal handling, courtroom demeanor, and civil citations. An animal control officer who successfully completes such a course shall be issued a certificate by the Board of Veterinary Medicine indicating that he has received a passing grade.
(b) Any person who is employed by a county or municipality as an animal control officer prior to July 1, 1998, shall be required to successfully complete the required course not later than July 31, 2000. Any person who is employed by a county or municipality as an animal control officer after July 1, 1998, shall be required to successfully complete the required course not later than one (1) year after the date on which he was first so employed. No animal control officer shall be entitled to receive any salary or other compensation from the county or municipality employing him who has not completed a minimum standards training course that is either offered by, or duly approved by, the Board of Veterinary Medicine as required by this section.
SECTION 2. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 1998.