Community waits for answer on Aiken County animal control

Published: Sep. 15, 2020 at 6:26 PM EDT
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AIKEN, SC. (WRDW/WAGT) - New rules over animals and pets are getting another look today in Aiken County as a council committee meets to discuss the county’s animal control ordinance.

The ordinance has been in talks among the council for months and it deals with everything from how to deal with nuisance animals to punishing animal abuse.

Soon, county leaders will try and move it forward after speaking with county residents. Some animal advocates are saying it’s a much-needed step in the right direction.

It’s been a waiting game that’s lasted 15 days. This is the reality of what Robin Mitchell does on a weekly basis -- trying to catch animals on the loose.

“If we’re not trying to capture then we’re working in some sort of rescue throughout the community,” Robin Mitchell, organizer of P.A.W.S, said.

P.A.W.S., or the Palmetto Animal Welfare Service, and Mitchell helps Aiken County capture nuisance animals.

“We’re close and it’s a very close relationship. We work well with each other,” she said.

Changing the Aiken animal control ordinance will make her job easier.

“Updating them is going to be tremendous help it’s going allow code enforcement and animal control to not have their hands tied,” Mitchell said.

The new language is giving officers the ability to deal with dangerous animals and prosecute their owners and add regulations to animal cruelty and abuse. The county wants dangerous animals, meaning they attack other animals, to be registered with the county.

“The past year has been a little rough on Aiken County with livestock getting killed by nuisance dogs,” Mitchell said.

But the Aiken County administration says they are expecting to table this for a fourth time, saying they need more input from the community. Which means the waiting game continues for now.

“It’s just going to take patience.”

The county committee does plan to hold another meeting on this topic in late October.

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