(a) Any licensed veterinarian of this state has the right to treat any animal which has become injured upon any public highway of this state or upon any public or private property of this state which is transported to that veterinarian by any person.
(b) If in the veterinarian's opinion the injuries sustained by the animal will result in death, the veterinarian has the right to apply euthanasia to eliminate any unnecessary suffering.
(c) If, at the conclusion of a seventy-two (72) hour period the legal owner of the animal has not been identified or presented himself or herself to the veterinarian, the veterinarian has the right to return the animal to the animal control warden or dog officer of the community where the animal was injured for disposition. The animal warden or dog officer shall have the right to dispose of the animal in accordance with the ordinances set forth by the community.
(d) The veterinarian, animal control officer, or dog officer, or any person shall not be held liable for any actions taken by them in the treatment or care of the animal by the owner should the owner become known and the owner shall then be responsible for any fees reasonably incurred in the treatment and care of the animal.
P.L. 1977, ch. 81, § 1.
(See also § 5-25-17. Immunity from liability for gratuitous emergency care for a provision specific to veterinarians.)