CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – An animal advocacy organization is working to get new animal welfare legislation passed in the City of Charleston.
The Charleston Animal Legislative Action League was started earlier this year.
“Honestly, it was just driving around and seeing these dogs that are tied up 24-7 and then I would call animal control and they would explain to me there’s nothing they can do,” said Stephanie Fauvelle, a cofounder of the organization.
Over the last few months, the group has been working on two new ordinances they hope will be heard by Charleston City Council.
The first ordinance addresses inhumane tethering. Organizers said it wouldn’t ban tethering altogether, but instead improve the conditions for the dogs.
“It’s more about what’s being used in the tether, access to adequate shelter, water, and the type of tether that is used, as well as the collars,” said Fauvelle.
The second piece of legislation would cover the basic care of animals, such as defining what adequate shelter is and making sure the owners are keeping up with their pet’s vaccinations.
“Providing heartworm medicines, flea and tick medicines. Especially fleas,” said Shawn Crisp, a cofounder of the organization.
The Charleston Animal Legislative Action League is not alone in pushing for change. The Charleston Police Department is proposing updates to the City’s current animal welfare ordinances.
According to Courtney Bayles, the Animal Control Supervisor for CPD, the laws haven’t been touched since the 1970s.
Bayles said the city has an “Improper Care Law,” aimed at protecting animals, however, the legislation does not define what improper care is which makes it difficult for police to enforce.
Bayles and her team have redrafted all of Charleston’s animal laws. She said their legal team is currently in the process of reviewing the changes. She hopes to propose the redraft to Charleston City Council within the next year.
Meanwhile, Charleston Animal Legislative Action League is planning to meet with council members next week to discuss the ordinances. They hope to present their ordinances the following month, in hopes of getting them passed.