Legislation to require Beaufort Co. pit bulls to be spayed/neute - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Legislation to require Beaufort Co. pit bulls to be spayed/neutered, moves forward

BEAUFORT CO., SC (WTOC) -

An ordinance which would require all pit bull and pit bull mixes in Beaufort County to be sterilized, is one step closer to becoming a reality.
 
The Beaufort County Council voted earlier this week for an initial approval of the law.
 
The county, and local rescue group owners, said the county's current pit bull population is causing major problems.
 
Behind the fences of the Beaufort County Animal Shelter, dozens of pit bulls and pit bull mixes, are locked away.
 
"Our animal shelter has just been inundated with pit bulls and pit bull mixes," says Joy Nelson, spokesperson for Beaufort County.
 
So much so, that in the past year, 300 of the 900 dogs that the County Animal Shelter has received, have been part or pure pit bulls.
 
And many of those, forced to be put down by the county.

"When you look at the 92 dogs that the shelter has had to euthanize this year, 64 of them were pit bulls," Nelson explains.
 
"I typically will not bring a pit bull into my organization because I cannot place them," says Kim Bonturi, president of Chain Free Beaufort, a non-profit animal rescue group.
 
From her experience, she said it's often difficult to place a pit bull in a home.
 
"Military housing doesn't allow it. Most landlords won't allow it. A lot of homeowner's insurance will drop you, or won't even insure you if you own a pit bull," Bonturi said.
 
She said pit bulls have a reputation that makes many people stay away.
 
Those are some of the reasons why the county is moving forward with legislation, which would require all pit bulls and mixes within the county to be spayed or neutered.
 
"We have to do something to try and slow the population down," Nelson admits.
 
But for opponents, like president of the Palmetto Animal League Amy Campanini, she's afraid the ordinance would cause more harm than help.
 
One of her fears, pit bull owners might give up their dog, if they can’t afford the spay or neuter expense.
 
“Often times, these ordinances often have unintended consequences, and we end up killing more animals. So the problem we're trying to solve, and we all agree on the problem, we just don't understand the detail behind it," said Campanini.
 
The ordinance needs to be voted on three times and there needs to be a public hearing, before it can pass as legislation.
 
Nelson said the next vote will likely be at the Beaufort County Council's next meeting, which is on Monday.

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