Read the original article by Alexandria Savage at wach.com here.
Lawmakers are proposing multiple bills to make sure repeat animal cruelty offenders in the Palmetto State are not able to adopt pets.
One proposed bill states offenders would have to wait up to five years to adopt again, another would prevent them from adopting a furry friend ever again.
Former York County Sheriff and current state representative, Bruce Bryant, who sponsored the former proposed bill, said he’s a pet owner who understands the need for laws to protect pets.ADVERTISING
He said the relaxed laws South Carolina has regarding animal cruelty are what motivated him to sign on to the bill’s committee.
“Personally I can’t see anything that would be negative about it, because anybody that loves animals will want to do what’s right for the animals. When I started crying about it, somebody else had already filed a bill and I said, ‘well just put me on it,'” Bryant said.
It was introduced on Jan. 22 and is currently in a committee.
Charleston Animal Society CEO Joe Elmore, who has more than 20 years of experience working with animals, said legislation like this is a must, but there needs to be some re-wording.
“We would recommend that on the first time, the individual should be prohibited from having an animal. There’s a limitation of five years, if it’s on the first offense, then sure five years. If it’s a second offense, then no animal for the lifetime.”
He said typically those that intend to harm animals do not adopt from shelters, so Charleston Animal Society as well as many others do not actually do background checks on people planning to adopt.
Instead volunteers aim to match lifestyle to lifestyle.