Resident asks Port Royal council to consider chain-free ordinance

emoody@beaufortgazette.comMarch 13, 2013 

  • In other business, council:

  • Approved on first vote the adjusting of the growth boundary shared with the city of Beaufort. A second vote is expected in April. Beaufort approved the change by resolution Tuesday.

  • Approved the annexation and rezoning of 13.74 acres at Forest Lawn Cemetery, behind 611 Robert Smalls Parkway and 599 Robert Smalls Parkway. Councilman Vernon DeLoach abstained because he is related to the owners of Anderson Funeral Home.

  • Received an update on the progress of a Millenarian Trading Co. plan that would rehabilitate the shrimp docks and start a jellyfish processing enterprise there. A meeting is set for next week with town officials and representatives of the company and the S.C. State Ports Authority. The town leases the shrimp docks from the authority, and would need to sublease them to the business.

  • Granted permission for staff to seek quotes for construction related to the expansion and renovation of the police department, which will be paid for with money from a special tax district.

  • Agreed to give land for the construction of 75 feet of sidewalk on 12th Street.

  • Proclaimed Disabilities Awareness Month and Multiple Sclerosis Week.

After watching a neighbor's dog suffer while chained in the backyard, a Port Royal resident is asking Town Council to reconsider a chain-free ordinance for animals.

Brian Stevens said the dog, Cain, a pit bull, was chained after repeatedly jumping the fence. The dog was left outside in the cold and rain and was sick with worms, Stevens told council during its regular meeting Wednesday night

Beaufort Animal Control officers told Stevens they could do little if the dog was given food, water and shelter.

The dog, Stevens said, has since gone missing.

"We ask Port Royal to take the lead and create an ordinance to provide law enforcement with the tools they need to protect animals like Cain in the future," he said.

Kim Bonturi of Chain-Free Beaufort, said the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Centers for Disease Control have both said chaining dogs is inhumane and cruel. Banning chaining helps prevent dog fights and unsafe breeding practices, she said. An unneutered, chained dog is 2.8 times as likely to attack than other dogs, she said.

"I don't know why we as a society have this knowledge in front of us and we allow it (chaining)," she said.

The city of Beaufort has adopted a chain-free ordinance, but is the only municipality in Beaufort County to do so. Stevens hopes Port Royal passes a similar law, and that it will be a catalyst to get Bluffton, Hilton Head Island and the county to do the same.

Bonturi said Beaufort is one of more than 90 area across the country, including Chatham County in Georgia, with such a law.

Bonturi and Stevens gave council members thick binders of information about chaining dogs and chain-free ordinances.

Town manager Van Willis said council could vote on an ordinance in April.

Councilman Tom Klein asked that any ordinance include all animals.

Related content

  1. Seafood company wants to bring jellyfish industry to Port Royal, up to 250 jobs to region, March 6, 2013
  2. Commission mulls growth-boundary between Beaufort, Port Royal, Feb. 5, 2013
  3. Anti-tethering group plans legislative dog fight, Feb, 20, 2008

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