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SC: Beaufort County could require spaying, neutering of pit bulls

Discussion in 'Breed Specific Legislation' started by Vicki, Sep 16, 2015.

  1. Vicki

    Vicki Administrator Administrator

    Beaufort County could require spaying, neutering of pit bulls
    Posted: September 15, 2015 - 2:06pm

    843-815-0800, Ext. 13 scott.thompson@blufftontoday.com

    All pit bulls and pit mixes in Beaufort County would have to be spayed or neutered and microchipped under a proposal that County Council gave preliminary approval Monday.

    Council voted 9-0 to approve the first of three readings of a comprehensive animal control ordinance at its meeting in Beaufort. The law also addresses feral cats, nuisance pets, livestock and other issues.

    The ordinance would go into effect for two years before council re-examines it.

    Exceptions to the requirement that pit bulls be spayed or neutered include dogs that are younger than four months old, those whose lives would be endangered by such a procedure, dogs that have been in the custody of their owners fewer than 30 days and those whose breed determination is under appeal.

    A pit bull is defined by the ordinance as “any dog that is an American Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, Stafford Bull Terrier or any dog that exhibits physical characteristics which predominately conform to the standards established by the American Kennel Club, United Kennel Club or American Dog Breeders Association.â€

    Several county officials, including Animal Control director Tallulah Trice, have long called for mandatory spaying or neutering of pit bulls to reduce euthanasia and live births and alleviate overcrowding at the county animal shelter.

    Ninety percent of the shelter’s population are pit bulls, and 90 percent of the euthanized animals are also pit bulls, Trice said in June.

    The proposal received support during a public comment session Monday.

    “(The ordinance) has pretty much (every) aspect I think we need in Beaufort County covered,†Chain Free Beaufort president Kim Bonturi said. “The law has needed to be revamped for a long time, especially with the pit bulls. As an animal rescuer, I have the luxury of choosing what type of dogs to bring in, but I can’t take pit bulls, mainly because I can’t place them anywhere.â€

    Feral cats would be permitted in colonies overseen by caregivers who obtain free permits from the county.

    The ordinance bans the import of exotic animals weighing more than 50 pounds into Beaufort County.

    Exotic animals are defined by the ordinance as those normally confined to a zoo or not used in South Carolina as household pets or domestic farm animals. Other stipulations include animals not indigenous to North America and those that cause “a reasonable person to be fearful of significant destruction of property or of bodily harm ... or one which causes zoonotic diseases.â€

    Exceptions include animals housed as part of a certified research facility and those who are an official mascot of a university athletic team.

    The ordinance would allow zoos in the county for up to seven days, as long as they satisfy all zoning requirements.

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