South Carolina Bill to Negatively Affect Animal Owners

South Carolina Senate Bill 833 is currently under consideration by the full Senate. The...

South Carolina Senate Bill 833 is currently under consideration by the full Senate. The bill—which originally attempted to only address the restraint of dogs—has been amended and now unreasonably seeks to seriously limit the confinement of dogs in pens or crates. It is vital that all South Carolina enthusiasts, fanciers, and concerned dog owners contact the bill's sponsor and their state senator and voice their respectful opposition to this bill as written.

The American Kennel Club encourages and strongly supports the interaction and mutual enjoyment of owners and dogs in sporting activities, in working circumstances, and in competition events. We believe that dog owners bear a special responsibility to their canine companions to provide proper care and humane treatment at all times. This includes an adequate and nutritious diet, clean water, clean living conditions, regular veterinary care, kind and responsive human companionship, and training in appropriate behavior. Additionally, the American Kennel Club also believes that dogs should not be kept in circumstances or numbers where these needs can not be adequately fulfilled. Anyone convicted of animal cruelty involving a dog will have all AKC privileges suspended.

As currently written, SB 833 seeks to unreasonably define "confine an animal in a cruel manner" to include:

  • Confining an animal for an unreasonable period of time. As used here, "unreasonable" is not defined. As such, arbitrary enforcement of this potential law can have a drastic affect on dogs in crates or pens at home; dogs in crates or pens at exhibitions, including dog shows and events; or dogs in transport to exhibitions. SB 833 includes a list of activities that will be exempted from the provisions of the bill, but does not grant an exemption to the exhibition of animals, to animals transported for exhibition, or to related and incumbent activities.
     
  • Confining that does not permit an animal access to sustenance. This provision is vague as to what types of sustenance would be required. Additionally, it does not take into consideration the accepted practice of dogs that, at exhibitions, are housed in crates or pens and have steady but intermittent access to water and food in consideration of the animal's health, safety, or activity.


WHAT YOU CAN DO:

South Carolina residents are encouraged to contact SB 833's sponsor, Senator Knotts, and urge your opposition to the bill as currently written. Encourage him to amend the bill to ensure that all onerous provisions of the bill are addressed while still attempting to protect animals subjected to cruel treatment. Also contact your state senator and express your concerns and urge amendment.

Senator John M. "Jake" Knotts, Jr. (Sponsor)
E-mail: SIV@scsenate.org

To find your South Carolina State Senator, click here.

For more information, contact AKC's Government Relations Department at (919) 816-3503, or e-mail doglaw@akc.org.