One of the greatest risks to employee safety is breaking up two dogs fighting. Dog fights are most likely to occur in the shelter, but recent designs to animal control vehicles place employees at risk while transporting animals. In order to accommodate various size dogs, animal control vehicle box designers have created removeable walls to adjust the size of the cage compartments. Those walls are an extremely weak point in the design in which an aggressive dog can breach the wall and attack a dog an adjacent cage.
I have found that the most effect way to break up a dog fight is to use a CO2 fire extinguisher. The blast from the fire extinguisher is sufficient to shock the dogs from fighting briefly. One used, the extinguishers can be recharged to be used again. The extinguishers should be in every animal control vehicle and placed throughout the animal shelter.
Police and EMT might consider using the extinguishers to access an injured person who is being guarded by the person’s dogs. Although tasers are effective, they may be unnecessary if emergency personnel prepare in advance for such incidents.