County considers stricter laws for animal breeders to curb puppy - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

County considers stricter laws for animal breeders to curb puppy mills

Photo from an alleged puppy mill in Conway that was investigated earlier this year. Photo from an alleged puppy mill in Conway that was investigated earlier this year.

HORRY COUNTY (WMBF) - After a recent large outpouring of concern by local residents, Horry County is making revisions to their small animal management ordinance to define commercial breeding.

The biggest change to the ordinance discussed Monday was the living and shelter conditions of the animals.

Some of the other changes will now allow county animal control officers to arrive to the premises where puppies are being bread to inspect and make sure the conditions are as stated in the ordinance. Horry County wants to make a clear definition of commercial breeding from average citizens that may have a litter of puppies. Another change is the replacement of the word cover with shelter and that stems from... “deplorable conditions,” said Lisa Bourcier, Horry County Public Information Director.

"That’s the way these animals are housed during breeding operations. So we want to make sure these animals have adequate covering, homes, wired floor cages that their paws won't fall through. That they're large enough for an individual animal to live in.”

The Horry County Animal Care center gets the animals that are from the puppy mills and they say the new ordinance will help them keep their facility maintained.

Anything in the county that has to do with animals, whether that’s a large or small pickup, will affect the way the Animal Care Center does business. And the tight regulations of animal breeders is a good thing for them.

"It's good for us because whenever we have a large amount of animals here we have to adopt them or go to plan B,” said Garry Gause, the Director of Horry County Animal Care Center.

Another change to the ordinance is that you can't breed more than 25 animals in one calendar year. The amendment will require multiples readings by county council, and a vote could be made as early as November.

Related stories:

Lax laws make South Carolina a magnet for puppy mills

Peaceful protest against alleged puppy mill in Conway

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