AR-News: (US) ACTION ALERT: Animal groups seek help from County Council

John W Kimbrell jkimbrell at
Sun Sep 14 12:03:01 EDT 2003

[contact info follows article -- emails needed]
Posted on September 14, 2003  Spartanburg Herald-Journal

Animal groups seek help from County Council
By Gary Henderson | Staff Writer
gary.henderson at  

[Spartanburg, S.C.] A task force of government agencies, animal groups
and veterinarians will meet with members of Spartanburg County Council
Monday to propose an ordinance that would require owners to license their

Joel Warner, executive director of the Spartanburg Humane Society, said
the proposal would include low-cost spay and neuter programs and more
public education about a problem he says has reached "crisis" level.

"We cannot go on like this," Warner said. "We are asking for licensing
because the fees help pay for better animal control enforcement and the
shelter's operations. Now it's 100 percent on the backs of the taxpayers.

"They're paying all the bills, whether they're pet owners or not."

The shelter, owned by the Humane Society, is under contract with the
county to house or dispose of the 18,000 unwanted animals it receives
each year. Up to 135 of these animals are killed by lethal injection each
day to make room for new arrivals.

Yearly, the total number of animals put down is more than 13,000.

The task force will make its presentation to County Council at 2 p.m. in
Conference Room 6 in the county administration building, 366 N. Church

Warner said he dismissed seven workers earlier this year and began
shutting down the shelter two days a week because of a shortfall in the
facility's $1.2 million operating budget.

"We haven't had an increase from the county in four years," Warner said.
"The number of animals we receive continues to go up."

The county pays the Humane Society $428,000 for shelter services. Private
and corporate donations make up the balance that's needed to operate the

"We operate on a year's contract with the county," Warner said. "We could
end that and turn this into a no-kill shelter."

Warner said spaying and neutering programs are included the task force

because they would eventually reduce the number of animals -- and the
flow of unwanted and stray animals coming to facility.

Task force members say, under their proposal, pet owners would be able to
purchase a lifetime license for a nominal fee, if they provide proof
their animals have been spayed or neutered.

Increased costs and yearly licenses will be proposed for pets that have
not been altered to stop reproduction.

Don Arnold, director of Spartanburg County Environmental Services
Department, said task force members would present "what we think the
problem is and what it would take to fix it."

"We will probably ask them to take action," Arnold said. "We'll tell
them, 'If you like what you hear, we'd ask for (the proposal) to be put
on the agenda for October and a first reading.'"

Gary Henderson can be reached at 864-562- 7230 or gary.henderson at 
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Spartanburg County Council

Jeffrey A. Horton, Chairman
(864) 596-2528 (Phone for all members)
(864) 596-2232 (Fax for all members)
jhorton at 

Debbie Ziegler, Department Head, District 1 Rep.
dziegler at 

Steve Parker, District 2
sparker at

David Britt, District 3
dbritt at 

Rock Adams, District 4
radams at

Ken Huckaby, District 5
khuckaby at

Frank Nutt, District 6
fnutt at

County Council Website:

Humane Society Website:


It can truly be said:  Men are the devils of the earth, and the animals
are the tormented souls. --Arthur Schopenhauer
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