SPARTANBURG Co., SC (WSPA) – Changes to Spartanburg County’s animal ordinance are now in effect.
Spartanburg County Council voted to approve the changes Monday night.
The ordinance says pets can’t be tied down with a metal collar or metal harness. They must also have 360-degree mobility along with access to shelter and water.
Pet owners who violate the ordinance could be fined or serve jail time.
Many at the meeting say county leaders missed an opportunity to protect animals who are left outside during extreme temperatures.
“I’m ashamed and embarrassed everyday at the way we treat our animals,” said Ann Moody who volunteers at the Spartanburg Humane Society.
Many agreed with the way the current ordinance made it unlawful for animals to be tethered with chains or ropes, but don’t like the change that allows owners to use a harness made of leather or nylon.
Spartanburg Humane Society Executive Director Angel Cox said she’s considering asking the board to make it mandatory that animals adopted from the shelter are kept indoors.
“Even though I think a lot of the animal advocates in the community would have liked tethering eliminated altogether, what’s happened is the county tried to strike a balance,” Heidi Kerns said.
While outside temperatures and time limits for animals in the weather was not addressed, council members say the change to the ordinance is a start.
“I’m glad both sides were able to meet somewhere in the middle we were able to get something passed, something that really does have a lot of substance to it,” Councilman Michael Brown said.
The ordinance also includes a provision for adequate shade and water while animals are outdoors.
Council members say the ordinance is not perfect, but gives animal control officials laws to hold people accountable.
Violators face a misdemeanor charge, could be subject to a fine of up to $500 and 30 days in jail.