Anderson County Council members passed an animal ordinance that would regulate those who produce large numbers of animals. It was approved in the first reading. It will be voted on two more times and changes are possible council members said.
Animal advocates say it’s a step in the right direction but may not be enough to stop all abuse.
More than 150 dogs were seized from a suspected puppy mill in Starr in August. Animal control officers said it’s just one of many animal cruelty cases reported in the Upstate this year.
Anderson County Council has been drafting an ordinance to regulate people who sell more than 20 dogs or produce 5 or more litters a year.
They would be inspected by an animal control officer.
Officers also tell us the ordinance would apply to anyone selling dogs from out of state and come to Anderson County.
Owners or sellers need to have proof that vaccinations are up to date. Officers say they check to see if a dog has proper nutrition and sufficient shelter too.
No animals could be sold at flea markets or carnivals without clearance from the sheriff’s office.
Officers are also aware the ordinance would exclude anyone registered with the American Kennel Club.
Anderson County Animal Control says they investigate every call about animals that are being mistreated. AKC members are not excluded from inspection if someone reports their property.
Anderson PAWS works closely with the county and says it’s a step in the right direction
“It’s going to give law enforcement an easier way to do their job then again we still have to find that happy medium where the community is doing their job,” said Jessica Cwynar, Director at Anderson County PAWS.
Cwynar said she knows she may see an influx of animals because of an ordinance. She said the facility took in 10,000 animals last year. She said she and her staff are taxed when large numbers of animals come in but she is prepared to handle whatever comes their way.
7 On Your Side spoke with Freedom Fences, an organization that works to build fences for animals and families in need. Bonnie Newmann was driving down the road in Anderson and said she found a small, malnourished puppy. She followed the puppy and found 7 more along with their emaciated mother in a yard.
Newmann said they begged the owner to let them help the dog and finally the owner agreed. Newmann said she sees many animals like the dog she found who end up in bad circumstances after they have finished producing dogs for a puppy mill.
Newmann said the dog needs serious rehab and is currently healing at the Magnolia animal hospital.