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Home  |  News  |  Animal control law accidentally targets people

Animal control law accidentally targets people
Wednesday, June 29, 2011

ST. MATTHEWS, SC - You can't chase squirrels in your neighbor's yard in Calhoun County. But maybe your dog can.

Calhoun County officials just realized their ordinances may make it illegal for the owner of a pet, not the actual pet, to run at large on someone else's property.

To correct the problem, County Administrator Lee Prickett proposed an ordinance amendment that would make a dog or cat owner in violation of the law if their animal runs at large on someone's property without consent.

"We don't have a strict leash law," he said.

Councilman John Nelson proposed making property owners responsible for letting people know pets aren't welcome.

"With a lot of people having hunting dogs, they would be in violation all the time," Nelson said. He suggested that animal owners "not automatically be in violation" unless the neighbor has voiced an objection.

Although Prickett said that the ordinance he offered does exempt hunting dogs in the act of hunting, it would be "good to have notice of complaint." If a dog destroys a neighbor's flowers or barks at children, the obligation would be on the property owner to say "keep the dog off," he explained.

To give officials time to prepare language reflecting Nelson's proposal, council gave first reading to the ordinance by title only.

Source: http://www.thetandd.com/news/article_ff80ce12-a21a-11e0-b931-001cc4c03286.html

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