AIKEN, S.C. (WJBF) – Aiken County council member deciding to repeal all sections of the animal control ordinance and replacing them with new ones Tuesday night.
Council Chairman Gary Bunker said, “I think we’re striking the right balance. One thing that has helped the ordinance, is when we held the first public hearing earlier in the year, we had a lot of folks come out and say they had a lot of specific issues with this.
After some confusion about the Aiken County Animal ordinance, leaders went back to it to dot the i’s and cross the t’s.
“We didn’t want to do it fast. We wanted to do it right and a lot of the folks out there had great ideas that actually strengthened the ordinance that we passed on second reading,” said Bunker.
Defining terms like humane care, shelter, domestic animal, and many others are the changes. Which can give officers more control when they’re enforcing the law.
“For example, we had a provision against was termed ‘puppy mills’ and we had breeders get very upset that they thought we were going to target responsible dog breeders because we had language that said we don’t want puppy mills. But took that language out its entirety because we don’t want to sew that type of confusion,” explained Bunker.
The changes to the animal control ordinance come after several incidents where animals either attacked people or killed other animals.
“The officer for example may have the ability to in certain instances to impound an animal before it guts a horse or kills somebody else’s pet or attacks a person if that animal has extremely aggressive behavior. But on the flip side, we still offer protections for the owner because it would have to go before the magistrate very quickly and these cases would be adjudicated quickly,” said Bunker.
The revised animal control ordinance will have a third reading in November.