COLUMBUS COUNTY, NC (WECT) - Columbus County Animal Control officers could soon be equipped with dart guns to capture animals who outsmart traps.
Animal Control Director Joey Prince said dogs and cats have found ways to eat the bait without tripping the trap, or avoided traps entirely. Prince is expected to request approval to equip officers with dart guns from the county board of commissioners on Monday.
"Right now, we do not have many additional tools we can use to catch these animals," Prince said. "We would mainly use the dart guns, if approved, when our traps are ineffective in catching the animals."
Officers would be required to complete a certification course in the use of dart guns before they could deploy them.
According to the draft chemical darting standard operating procedure, officers would also be allowed to dart animals suspected of having rabies or who are sick or hurt and not allowing the officer to safely approach them.
"While these are not held to be lethal - we plan on treating them the same as handguns in our protocols," Prince said.