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Has Spartanburg County Animal Control turned their back on these dogs?

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The photo included in this article was taken in Spartanburg, South Carolina on January 25 by Project Paww Spartanburg, according to this Facebook thread. Project Paww is dedicated to providing Spartanburg dogs with hay in an effort to provide warmth during freezing temperatures and cutting winds.

Has Spartanburg County Animal Control turned their back on these dogs? It wouldn't be a big surprise to learn this, as animal control services throughout upstate South Carolina have been under close scrutiny due to the high number of abuse cases that are left unresolved until it's too late.

According to comments posted on Facebook, SCAC is aware of this situation, which is occurring in the Saxon Mill area. Can anyone verify that AC knows, yet has done nothing to help? Or do they still need to be contacted?

Something needs to be done soon, as the dogs pictured here are living in horrible conditions. There's plenty of evidence showing owner violation of several Spartanburg County Ordinance's. These ordinances can be viewed in PDF form here, and include

Sec 6-2 defines Humane Manner- Care of animal to refers to adequate heat, ventilation, sanitary shelter, wholesome food and water specific to the animal size, species and breed. Food provided must provide nourishment, meaning the animal should grown and not have the appearance of being starved, as we are finding these animals time and time again this year.
Sec. 6-4 states that any person who violates any of these provisions is guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction should be fined up to $500 plus court costs and/or 30 days in jail
Sec. 6-8 states that any dog or cat over four months of age within Spartanburg County must be vaccinated against rabies, and the tag must be displayed upon a collar at all times.
Sec. 6-12 Ill treatment/cruelty of animals states: Whoever abuses, cruelly treats, tortures, deprives of necessary sustenance of shelter, inflicts unnecessary pain or suffering, overworks, overloads or overdrives any animal or causes the same to be done, shall, for every offense, be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, be punished in accordance with Section 6-4 of this chapter.
Sec. 6-12 simply restates that animal owners and caretakers who fail to provide their animals with proper food, water are in violation of Spartanburg County Ordinance. It is also a violation to fail to provide such care as proper confinement, veterinary care and healthful environment. Animals left outside must have adequate shelter. The code is very clear on this issue. The shelter should be small enough to allow the animal to warm the interior with its body heat, but large enough to stand, turn and lie down in.

Veterinary care must be provided for animals who show symptoms of illness. These symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, emanciation(this means the appearance of being starved, animal control, since it appears you don't have the intelligence to grasp this term on your own), loss of appetite, discharge from the eyes or nose. An animal exhibiting an injury must also be treated by a licensed veterinarian.

An attorney has been consulted on this case, and has stated

"given the existence of time-stamped photographs and corroborating witness statements, there is ample evidence to show ordinance violations and the appropriate governing agency has an obligation to pursue formal charges against the individual holding ownership of the dog in question. The assistance of the rescue group to improve the dog's immediate living conditions should have no bearing on whether or not the charges should be filed."

Actions taken by others to improve the health or living conditions of these dogs should have no bearing on whether the dogs owners should be charged with animal cruelty, which is usually referred to as ill treatment of animal under South Carolina law. Listed below is the person to contact and express your feelings, and to force Animal Control to get these dogs to safety.

Office of Environmental Enforcement
298 Broadcast Dr.
Spartanburg, SC 29303
8:00 - 4:30
Monday - Friday
Department Head:
James Nelson II
(864) 596-3582 (Phone)
(864) 596-3007 (Fax)
jnelsonjr@spartanburgcounty.org

If this were an elderly person or a child in our community, someone would be facing charges. Why do our companion animals get the rough end of the deal, with animal advocates having to do the job that should be enforced by government agencies?

We have another Arctic front approaching upstate South Carolina later in the week. Will anything be done to get these dogs into a loving and safe environment before more bad weather hits? Or will we eventually read a "casualty report" on these dogs, should they be left to freeze to death while animal control looks for a way to NOT perform the job they've been hired to do.

Why is it that animal advocates are forced to consult an attorney about what should be common knowledge.Take care of your pets, or face charges.

If Spartanburg County Animal Control knows of this situation, then aren't they promoting the problem if they refuse to press charges against the owner?

Please share this article, especially with those in the Spartanburg County area. Unfortunately, we are the voice of these animals, since no one else seems to care.

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