County Council amends animal shelter ordinances to try to save more lives

November 8, 2010 

Toni Lytton, right, director of the Beaufort County Animal Shelter and Control, shares a laugh while Jan Hughes checks out the new addition for cats and kittens after an official ribbon-cutting ceremony Monday afternoon at the cat shelter.

BOB SOFALY | THE BEAUFORT GAZETT

Beaufort County Council adopted changes to the county's animal control ordinance Monday in an attempt to reduce euthanasia and stop people from repeatedly returning pets and adopting new ones.

No residents spoke during the public hearing on the ordinance and council members voted to adopt the amendments after little discussion.

Changes to the ordinance include:

  • Preventing any pet owner who turns in his or her animal to the shelter from adopting another one for at least 90 days. If an owner returns more than one adopted animal in a year, that person is no longer allowed to adopt from the shelter.

  • Cutting in half the fees to reclaim impounded animals. The new fees will be $50 for the first offense, $125 for the second and $250 for each additional offense. The shelter's director no longer will have the authority to waive those fees.

  • Requiring identification microchips to be implanted in reclaimed animals before they are released to their owners.

  • Creating exceptions for terminally ill, critically injured or vicious animals to the five-day waiting period before seized animals can be euthanized.

  • Giving the shelter director the authority to work with other organizations both within and outside Beaufort County to place animals if all local rescuers are full and the number of animals exceeds available space.

    In Other Action

    Dan Dennis, president of Dennis Corp., addressed Beaufort County Council on Monday and sent a letter to its chairman outlining concerns he has about the S.C. 802 road and bridge construction. His company is under contract to perform inspection and engineering services for the project.

    Dennis said he believes the problems are serious and could jeopardize the project's compliance with S.C. Department of Transportation standards. He said the county asked him to reduce his staff for the project from 10 inspectors to four. Chairman Weston Newton referred the matter to the Public Facilities Committee.

    Immigration forum

    Council also adopted a resolution stating that council members do not condone illegal immigration in Beaufort County but support immigration into the country through legal means.

    Board of Education chairman Fred Washington Jr. encouraged the vote and asked council members to participate in the 2010 Beaufort County Immigration Information Forum. He said the purpose of the forum is to give the community accurate information about issues surrounding immigration, including education, health and human services, law enforcement, and business.

    The forum is scheduled for 10 a.m. Nov. 17 in the County Council Chambers, Washington said.

    America Recycles Day

    Monday will be "America Recycles Day" in Beaufort County, according to a proclamation by council.

    In the proclamation, Council Chairman Weston Newton encouraged citizens to commit that day to recycling and buying recycled products whenever they can.

    America Recycles Day, a program of Keep America Beautiful, is the only nationally recognized day dedicated to promoting and celebrating recycling in the United States, according to a news release from the county. The campaign provides an opportunity for people to sign a personal pledge to recycle, which can be downloaded at www.americarecyclesday.org.

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