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Changes Made to Animal Control Ordinance Aimed to Regulate Breeding

Tue, 08/20/2019

Recent changes made to the Lexington County Animal Control Ordinance are aimed at regulating breeding operations throughout the County, while also focusing on holding pet owners accountable for when their animals are found roaming at large.

The changes mandate that those wishing to operate a commercial breeding kennel or cattery in the County must first obtain a certificate of inspection from the County’s Department of Animal Services. All commercial kennels and catteries must comply with the current standard and procedures set forth by Lexington County Animal Services and the Humane Society of the United States, according to the ordinance. There is a $200 fee for obtaining the certificate for running a breeding operation, which must be paid within a two-year period. The fee will be collected be the County’s Department of Animal Services and turned over to the County’s Treasurer to be used to help pay for day-to-day operations at the County’s animal shelter.

Furthermore, the ordinance also states that certain dogs impounded for roaming at large and in violation of the restraint and confinement portion of the ordinance must be both microchipped, if the animal is not already microchipped, and sterilized, if the animal is not already spayed or neutered, within 30 days of being redeemed from the County’s animal shelter. Pet owners must sign a written agreement to comply with the aforementioned regulations before the pet is released back into their custody.

However, there are some exceptions to these changes for certain dogs, which includes:

• If an owner can furnish a statement from a licensed veterinarian that shows that sterilization of a dog is medically not appropriate at the time of release.

• If an owner of one or more purebred dogs can furnish proof of participation in at least three nationally recognized conformation or obedience shows within the last 12 months.

• If the dog is trained and certified to be a service dog for its owner. Proof of training and certification may be requested by the Animal Services Director.

• Any dog trained and certified to be used for hunting does not need to be sterilized within 30 days of its redemption from the County’s animal shelter. Proof of training and certification may be requested by the Animal Services Director.

• Any dog used for hunting purposes for which proof of training and certification cannot be provided is exempted from the mandatory sterilization upon first offense. Upon second offense, the dog will be subjected to mandatory sterilization.

Residents can find the full Lexington County Animal Control Ordinance on the County’s website:

https://lex-co.sc.gov/sites/default/files/Documents/Lexington%20County/Departments/Animal%20services/Ordinance18-21.pdf