A problematic and overreaching proposed animal ordinance is scheduled for a second reading on Tuesday, February 16, at the Greenwood County Council Meeting. The proposal includes licensing for dog breeders, vague sheltering requirements for all animals, and burdensome requirements—including fees of up to $1,000—to reclaim an impounded pet. Concerned residents should contact members of the county council immediately.
Provisions of concern with the draft ordinance include, but are not limited to:
- A commercial dog breeder license would be required if just one litter is produced “for profit” in a 12-month period. A person would be defined as a “commercial dog breeder” for having one (or more) unaltered female dogs on a premises and producing one (or more) litters of puppies to sell for profit within a 12-month period. “For profit” is not defined. Persons intending to engage in dog breeding would be required to obtain a $100/year commercial dog breeder license from animal control prior to the birth of a litter. License issuance would be conditioned upon inspection of the breeder’s property, compliance with animal enclosure and “adequate shelter” requirements, and other requirements.
- Problematic requirements for “adequate shelter” would apply to all animals. “Adequate shelter” would, among other provisions, require “a suitable method of drainage” to rapidly eliminate any excess water or moisture. It is unclear how a method of drainage would be constructed for a doghouse or for certain other covered and enclosed structures for animals, such as run-in sheds for livestock. Additionally, a shelter for a dog would be required to contain bedding or a heat source, regardless of weather conditions.
Failure to provide “adequate shelter” for an animal would be an animal neglect violation. Any animal deemed neglected could be confiscated and taken to the Greenwood County Animal Shelter. If found guilty of neglect, the owner could be required to forfeit the animal to the shelter.
It would also be a violation to leave a dog outside in a wire or plastic kennel (e.g., a crate), with no exemption when an owner or handler is present. This could negatively affect outdoor competitions, training activities, and adoption events where dogs are secured in crates for safekeeping.
- Up to a $1000 fee would be required to reclaim an impounded intact pet. An animal found running at large could be reclaimed only if, among other requirements, the animal is microchipped prior to leaving the facility. There is no provision to exempt animals already microchipped.
No impounded pet could be redeemed without being surgically sterilized. If not already sterilized, the owner would be required to pay to have the pet sterilized by the shelter (or be transported for a fee by the shelter to the owner’s veterinarian for sterilization) or pay a $200 redemption fee to reclaim the intact pet. For any second impoundment in the same fiscal year, the redemption fee for an intact pet would be $1,000.
- Any violation of these and other provisions would be subject to civil fines of not less than $250 per offense, with each day of a violation being a separate offense.
Greenwood County Residents are Encouraged to Take Action Today!
Residents are encouraged to request a copy of the ordinance from county staff. If you have concerns about the proposed ordinance, you are urged to immediately contact county council members (see contact info, below) and, if possible, attend the meeting on February 16 at 5:30 pm.
Submit a written public comment statement on or before February 16th at 12:00 noon. Comments received by the deadline will be submitted to the County Council Chairman to be read into the minutes of the meeting. Email comments to Susan McIntyre, Clerk to County Council, at email@example.com.
Attend the County Council Meeting:
Tuesday, February 16, 2021
Greenwood County Library American Veteran’s Auditorium
600 South Main Street
Greenwood, SC 29646
To speak at the meeting during the public comment section of the agenda, you will need to sign in and indicate the agenda item that you wish to address. Click here for additional information and deadlines for being added in advance to the meeting agenda.
Contact Information for County Council Members:
Ms. Edith S. Childs
Office: (864) 942-8596
Mr. Mark Allison
Cell: (864) 377-1500
Ms. Melissa Spencer
Phone: (864) 388-7312
Office: (864) 942-8596
Mr. Chuck Moates, Vice-Chairman
Home: (864) 227-0829
Mr. Steve Brown, Chairman
Cell: (864) 993-0861
Home: (864) 223-2865
Mr. Robbie Templeton
Cell: (864) 980-8688
Mr. Theo Lane
Cell: (864) 420-0068
For additional information, please contact AKC Government Relations at firstname.lastname@example.org or 919-816-3720.