After dog attacks, tighter animal control ordinances coming to Aiken County

Tuesday, December 10, 2019
News 12 at 11 o'clock

(Source: MGN)

AIKEN COUNTY, SC (WRDW/WAGT) -- Aiken County Council passed their first reading for tighter animal control ordinances Tuesday night.

 This comes after a family's horse and pig were attacked by a neighbor's dogs, for the second time. 

County Council will soon hear recommendations from Animal Control on what exactly those changes will be, but animal rights activists like Robin Mitchell say they hope it's something similar to an ordinance the City of Aiken already has in place. It's called 'registration.'

"If you have a dog, you would have to register it with the county," said Mitchell.

If the dog is spayed or neutered, she says the owner would pay a one-time fee of $5 or $10 per dog. The catch comes if your dog doesn't get a snip.

"The unaltered dog registration would be $100 a year plus, per dog," said Mitchell.

She says the hope is to cut down on backyard breeding and accidental litters, particularly of Pitbulls and Pitbull-mixes, and to reduce animal shelter intake. She says the shelters are flooded with this breed of dog.

"I love the Pitbulls, but that is unfortunately the breed right now that we have to slow down," said Mitchell.

Plus, she says the money from the fees would go right back into the county, and might be used to hire more Animal Control officers.

"This has been a long time coming. Like I've said, I spoke with council members in Aiken County on this a year ago," said Mitchell.

Aiken County Council Chairman Gary Bunker says he also hopes whatever the ordinance is will allow Animal Control officers to step in sooner.

"We're probably going to look at ways in which the officers could be empowered to take more proactive action in certain cases," he said.

Two families, including the one whose animals were attacking this week, were at Tuesday's council meeting. They couldn't comment due to pending court cases, but they were both in support of tighter Animal Control ordinances like a county-wide registration.

Mitchell says she suspects breeders will be opposed to a county-wide registration. County Council will hear comments from the public at the next reading on this issue.

Copyright 2019 WRDW/WAGT. All rights reserved