Do changes to Spartanburg Co. animal ordinance go far enough?

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In May, 7News first brought you our original report on the failure of Spartanburg County to update its animal control ordinances.

This week we are getting our first look at proposed changes to the law, but some activists say they don’t go far enough in protecting pets.

A dog tethered by a chain with only a ramp as shelter from the rain may be legal in Spartanburg County now, but may not be for long.

“Now we tell you where you can tether, but now we mandate what you’re going to use. Gone outta here. Better go take it right now. If you’ve got a pitbull on a logging chain, my suggestion in the next 60 days you better find enough a good enough cable to put it on,” said Jamie Nelson, the director of the Spartanburg County Environmental Enforcement Department.

Nelson, who heads up Animal Control, said proposed changes to the animal ordinance define more humane types of collars and chords that must be used for tethering like a swivel and trolley system.

And more defined shelter regulations mandate a “weatherproof structure” that “sits off the ground.” “Garbage cans, barrels or crates” would be unacceptable.

“Those are all improvements and they deserve credit for putting them in there, we just think it needs to go a litle bit further,” said Chris Morrow, who was the first to raise concerns to county council 18 months ago.

He said the changes leave out two crucial elements.

“It doesn’t stop an animal from being tied for the entirety of its life and it doesn’t prevent situations from a dog freezing to death or dieing from heat stroke,” said Morrow.

He and others addressed those concerns during at last night’s County Council Meeting.

“Please add some language to the ordinance that will allow for tempurature control where an animal cant be left out indefiniately,” said Angel Cox, the head of Spartanburg Humane Society.

But even though the cities of Spartanburg and Greenville have had success with setting tethering time limits Nelson calls that unenforceable.

“There are people that are upset, but it’s logical, and it’s enforceable, and that’s what we need,” said Nelson.

Morrow said now is the time to voice your thoughts to your council members before the next reading July 15.

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