Activists, lawmakers meet, talk animal issues

Activists, lawmakers meet, talk animal issues

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - Dozens of animal activists voiced their concerns to lawmakers about what they say needs to be done in Horry County when it comes to breeding and adoption laws.

This discussion comes just weeks after Horry County Police seized more than 150 dogs from two locations. In addition to concerned residents and lawmakers, some of those dogs were also in attendance.

One of those dogs was Valor. Sue Kohl adopted the black Shih Tzu after he was seized from an alleged puppy mill.

"He's quite a bit scared because he couldn't see anything before," Kohl said. "He has had a very hard time walking," she said.

Valor was one of the 146 dogs seized in what police describe as a Conway puppy mill earlier this month. Horry County Police ticketed the person in charge, but her pet shop is still open.

Kohl says she wants to make sure people accused of running puppy mills get more than a slap on the wrist moving forward. "It's quite obvious it's not just a problem here," said Senator Greg Hembree.

Today dozens of other people with similar views gathered at the Grand Strand Humane society to try and come up with answers. Two state senators spoke with the group to let them know what they can do, and what's realistic moving forward.

"I think there's some tangible things that we can do that, again, communicate to the folks and the folks that want to get in this business that there will be a penalty and a price to pay if you violate it," said Senator Luke Rankin.

Both Senators applauded the group but warned them, changes may take some time.

What they say will help, is for these people to keep voicing their concerns, so cases like Valor's won't happen again. "We are their voices," said Kohl. "These dogs need us, these dogs need us," she added.

A bill has recently been introduced in Columbia dealing with the ways animals can be euthanized. Senator Rankin says some lawmakers are also considering introducing puppy mill legislation.

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