Debate Swirls Over Proposed Dog Ordinance

Debate over a proposed ordinance to help control the pit bull population by mandating spays and neuters, is swirling in Beaufort County. But Holly Zusack, who has rescued pits for years says this is the solution.

“Go walk the shelter and see how many pit bulls are there, there are tons and tons of pits and pit bull mixes there. If we spay and neuter in our own county, then that’s going to solve the problem.”

Not everyone agrees this will fix things. Amy Campanini, Director of Palmetto Animal League, says this isn’t the way.

“These ordinances are way too premature, council needs a lot more education, about what’s happening in the community, and we have to get together as a rescue community.”

Campanini says there are other parts of the problem that aren’t considered in the ordinance, like wild dogs.

“We have issues with free-roaming dogs that are creating “pit-looking” dogs, we just don’t have enough information from the county on what they based these ordinances on.”

The new law would only effect pit bulls and pit bull mixes, another thing critics are worried about, but some say its not about the breed so much the problem.

“I don’t feel in any way that its targeting them. I feel like we have a problem with this in Beaufort County and we need to solve it,” Zusack says.

But, Campanini says there are too many questions with not enough answers to effectively enforce the law.

“Where is the education on animal services staff, how do they determine if a dog is a pit bull? There’s really no way to do that that’s definitive.”

And there’s no definitive date of when, or if County Council will take up this issue.

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