“Justice For Amara” Group wants changes to animal abuse ordinance

Supporters continue their fight to find justice for a dog found shot and blind in Anderson County weeks ago.

Tuesday night, supporters behind “Justice for Amara” faced the Anderson County council, pressing for changes to be made to laws at the county and state level.

“Our rescue takes in 75 percent of your cases. You should be embarrassed. You should care. Let’s change it,” one supporter told the council.

Amara was found in Townville blind, starved and with a gunshot between the eyes. She was rescued by “Boxer Butts and Other Mutts” founder Heidi Wagner.

Her story went viral online with people pleading for the person responsible to be held accountable.

The Anderson County Sheriff’s Office received a tip about Amara’s previous owner. They sent us several incident reports detailing interviews with the owner and people who knew the owner. The reports alleged aggressive behavior from Amara and the owner’s efforts to find another home for her.

When all other options failed, the owner told deputies he decided to put Amara down by shooting her, away from family.

Deputies took the case to a judge who decided not to file charges. There are no laws in South Carolina that prohibit shooting as a form of euthanasia. The county council previously said it was out of their hands because of state laws.

At the Anderson County Council meeting Tuesday night, many advocates took the stand to disagree with that ruling.

“If that is the kind of town you want to be associated with and make ordinances about, you should be ashamed,” another supporter said.

Wagner brought Amara’s story to the council shortly after, telling them she wouldn’t stop until changes were made to make the county better for all animals.

“I hope they take it to heart because we are serious,” Wagner added, once the meeting was over.

The council members gave separate replies, but each of them promised to try to find a solution.

“We will endeavor to work with you to come up with improved ordinances and better methods to deal with this in the future and hope there will never have to be another Amara,” Cindy Wilson told the crowd.

“You are preaching to the choir,” Tommy Dunn added. “But a lot of this stuff our hands are tied.”

Councilman Tom Allen told the group he wanted to make it illegal to euthanize an animal by gunshot. He said there were too many vets and shelters in the area to allow it. He asked Wagner to bring him copies of ordinances in her area, so that they could compare and review.

“I think it went well,” Wagner said. “There was a little bit of head butting and a little bit of excuses but we will follow through with everything we were told.”

The council was thanked for their time with an applause.

“She would be proud that this many people are standing up for her. But that was our promise to her and we are not going away,” Wagner said. “I’m fulfilling that promise, not just for her but for all the rest of them too.”

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