South Carolina law would require pit bull owners to register their dogs

In South Carolina, a bill was introduced last week which would require all pit bull owners to register and microchip their dogs  if they are not sterilized. Owners who did not comply with the neutering or spaying of their dogs would be required to pay a $500 fee.

According to H.3709  introduced by Lexington County Rep. Chip Higgins and referred to the House Committee on Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environmental Affairs, on January 22, the failure to register a fertile pit bull would result in a $1,000 fine and a misdemeanor charge and up to a year in prison. All pit bull owners who have spayed or neutered their dogs would not be subject to registering or microchipping their dogs.

In addition the law would allow pit bull owners to keep a fertile pit bull:

  • Under 8-weeks-old
  • Licensed vet has examined the dog and signed certificate the dog’s life would be at risk if sterilized.
  • Person has kept a pit bull for less than 30 days
  • An application has been submitted in accordance with the law
  • Determination the breed is under appeal
  • Pit bull is a show dog that has been registered and participated in a nationally recognized show in prior year

The law would define a “pit bull” as one that is an “American pit bull terrier, American Staffordshire terrier, Staffordshire bull terrier, a dog displaying the physical traits of one or more of the above breeds, or a dog exhibiting the distinguishing characteristics that conform to the standards established by the American Kennel Club for any of the above breeds.”

The proposed law works off the claims that pit bulls are “the most desired breed for dogfighting and is dying at a higher rate in local animal shelters than any other breed in South Carolina.” Most dog fatalities are committed by dogs that have not been sterilized; studies show fertile dogs are more likely “to be territorial.”

Sounds like a well thought out solution for the overpopulation and subsequent euthanasia of so many innocent dogs. What are your thoughts?

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