South Carolina General Assembly
111th Session, 1995-1996

Bill 1262

Indicates Matter Stricken
Indicates New Matter

                    Current Status

Bill Number:                       1262
Type of Legislation:               General Bill GB
Introducing Body:                  Senate
Introduced Date:                   19960320
Primary Sponsor:                   Leventis
All Sponsors:                      Leventis, McGill, Moore,
                                   Richter, McConnell, Gregory, Russell,
                                   Jackson, Greg Smith, Passailaigue,
                                   Courson, Land and Thomas 
Drafted Document Number:           bbm\10650jm.96
Residing Body:                     Senate
Current Committee:                 Agriculture and Natural
                                   Resources Committee 01 SANR
Subject:                           Dogs, cats, sterilization


Body    Date      Action Description                       Com     Leg Involved
______  ________  _______________________________________  _______ ____________

Senate  19960320  Introduced, read first time,             01 SANR
                  referred to Committee

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Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:

SECTION 1. Chapter 3, Title 47 of the 1976 Code is amended by adding:

"Article 8

Sterilization of Dogs and Cats

Section 47-3-470. As used in this article:

(1) `Animal Shelter' means:

(a) a facility operated by or under contract for the State or a county, a municipal corporation, or other political subdivision of the State for the purpose of impounding or harboring seized, stray, homeless, abandoned, or unwanted dogs, cats, and other animals;

(b) a veterinary hospital or clinic operated by a veterinarian or veterinarians which operates for the purpose set forth in subitem (a) in addition to its customary purposes;

(c) a facility operated, owned, or maintained by an incorporated humane society, animal welfare society, or other nonprofit organization for the purpose of providing for and promoting the welfare, protection, and humane treatment of animals.

(2) `Humane society' means an unincorporated nonprofit organization existing for the purpose of prevention of cruelty to animals.

(3) `Public or private animal refuge' means harborers of unwanted animals of any breed, including crossbreeds, who provide food, shelter, and confinement for a group of dogs, a group of cats, or a combination of dogs and cats.

(4) `Sexually mature animal' means a dog or cat that has reached the age of one hundred eighty days or six months or more.

(5) `Sterilization' means the surgical removal of the reproductive organs of a dog or cat in order to render the animal unable to reproduce.

Section 47-3-480. (A) A public or private animal shelter, animal control agency operated by a political subdivision of this State, humane society, or public or private animal refuge shall make provisions for the sterilization of all dogs or cats acquired from the shelter, agency, society, or refuge by:

(1) providing sterilization by a licensed veterinarian before relinquishing custody of the animal; or

(2) entering into a written agreement with the person acquiring the animal guaranteeing that sterilization will be performed by a licensed veterinarian within thirty days after acquisition of a sexually mature animal or no later than six months of age except upon a written statement issued by a licensed veterinarian stating that such surgery would threaten the life of the animal.

(B) This section does not apply to a privately owned animal which the shelter, agency, society, or refuge may have in its possession for any reason if the owner of the animal claims or presents evidence that the animal is his property.

(C) All costs of sterilization pursuant to this section are the responsibility of the person acquiring the animal and, if performed before acquisition, may be included in the fees charged by the shelter, agency, society, or refuge for the animal.

(D) A person acquiring an animal from a shelter, an agency, a society, or a refuge which is not sterile at the time of acquisition shall submit to the shelter, agency, society, or refuge a signed statement from the licensed veterinarian performing the sterilization required by subsection (A) within seven days after sterilization attesting that the sterilization has been performed.

Section 47-3-490. A person who fails or refuses to comply with this article is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be fined not more than two hundred dollars.

Section 47-3-500. This article does not prohibit the adoption by a political subdivision of this State of shelter policies which are more stringent than the requirements of this article."

SECTION 2. This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor.