Dog owner seeks action for hunting dog laws in SC
CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Under South Carolina law, those who abandon or mistreat their animals could be subject to a fine, or even a misdemeanor, except for hunting dogs.
Although this law is not new, one dog owner says this needs to be changed.
“Exception to the abandonment section needs to be rescinded,” Nicholas Bruno said.
Bruno took in his former hunting dog, Sadie, after she was abandoned twice. When his family took her in, he says she was very thin and her ears were so swollen she was deaf.
“There’s a lot of good hunters and I’m sure a lot of good hunters that treat their dogs well,” Bruno said. “But there’s an awful lot of them when the dog is no longer useful, or as useful as they think it should be, they simply turn them loose.”
Bruno says he reached out to state lawmakers about wanting hunting dogs to be included under abandonment rules almost a year ago. He says only the lieutenant governor responded saying to reach out to local senators. When he did, he claims he did not receive a response.
Lowcountry animal shelter Dorchester Paws says they take in 4,000 stray animals every year. Hundreds of these dogs are hounds or hound-beagle mixes that are the main dogs used for hunting.
“Knowing that animals are property in the state of South Carolina inhibits our mission that we try to instill every day in caring for the abused and neglected and the homeless animals of this county,” Danielle Zuck, the director of development and marketing at Dorchester Paws, said.
She says this makes an impact on adoptions.
“The animals are not medically good on the eyes,” Zuck said. “And typical hunting dogs are just left... But in South Carolina, when you have an abundance of the same breed on your floor, they will sit for months on end.”
Suzanne Roman, the executive director of Saint Frances Animal Center sent this statement in response to the law:
While many folks do take good, appropriate care of their hounds - many do not - and the shelter ends up caring for many emaciated, injured and ill hunting hounds each year. Sometimes the cruelty is severe. Giving these animals the protection they deserve is necessary and important.
“Contact the representatives,” Bruno said. “Let them know that this archaic exclusion needs to be gone.”
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