(1) The purpose of this section is to provide a swift and merciful means whereby domestic animals which are suffering from an incurable or untreatable condition or are imminently near death from injury or disease may be destroyed without unconscionable delay and in a humane and proficient manner.
(2) As used in this section, the term “officer” means:
(a) Any law enforcement officer;
(b) Any veterinarian; and
(c) Any officer or agent of any municipal or county animal control unit or of any society or association for the prevention of cruelty to animals, or the designee of such an officer or agent.
(3) Whenever any domestic animal is so injured or diseased as to appear useless and is suffering, and it reasonably appears to an officer that such animal is imminently near death or cannot be cured or rendered fit for service and the officer has made a reasonable and concerted, but unsuccessful, effort to locate the owner, the owner’s agent, or a veterinarian, then such officer, acting in good faith and upon reasonable belief, may immediately destroy such animal by shooting the animal or injecting it with a barbiturate drug. If the officer locates the owner or the owner’s agent, the officer shall notify him or her of the animal’s location and condition. If the officer locates only a veterinarian, the officer shall destroy the animal only upon the advice of the veterinarian. However, this section does not prohibit an owner from destroying his or her own domestic animal in a humane and proficient manner when the conditions described in this section exist.
(4) No officer or veterinarian acting in good faith and with due care pursuant to this section will be liable either criminally or civilly for such act, nor will any civil or criminal liability attach to the employer of the officer or veterinarian.
(5) A court order is not necessary to carry out the provisions of this section.