Anderson Co. animal laws need to be strengthened, says shot dog' - FOX Carolina 21

Anderson Co. animal laws need to be strengthened, says shot dog's caretaker

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Amara, shot in the face by her owner, is recovering in Henderson Co. (FOX Carolina) Amara, shot in the face by her owner, is recovering in Henderson Co. (FOX Carolina)
ANDERSON, SC (FOX Carolina) -

It's been more nearly six months since boxer mix Amara was taken in by a Henderson Co. animal activist after she was shot in the face by her Upstate owner. 

Today, Amara is healing physically, but Heidi Wagner, owner of the non-profit Boxer Butts and Other Mutts, said she will likely never heal emotionally from her ordeal. 

"It's a never-ending battle," said Wagner. "She was failed miserably by humans."

Authorities in Anderson Co. said Amara was shot by her owner after he claimed she tried to bite his pregnant wife. He was not charged with a crime. Recently, Anderson Co. Council has been trying to strengthen animal control ordinance language regarding euthanasia. 

A proposed ordinance would change the language in the current statute to add that citizens may shoot healthy animals if they feel they are a threat to humans. 

"If the animal is unwanted," the proposal says, "It must be taken to a certified shelter or recognized rescue shelter. Shooting of a canine with a firearm for the purpose of euthanasia is prohibited unless the animal has been severely injured and it is the only way to prevent undue suffering."

"By defining what you have to do in terms of laying an animal down or euthanizing that animal, we are trying to make that a process that you have to do that is more humane," said Anderson County Administrator Rusty Burns. 

The rule does not apply to animals who may be considered a threat. Wagner said that leaves room for too many loopholes. 

"If somebody shoots their dog or their cat, all they are gonna say is that 'we felt threatened by the animal.' What good is that gonna do?," said Wagner. She clarified that she is glad the conversation is happening in Anderson County about specifying ordinance language, however, she added that 80 percent of the dogs she takes in are from Anderson County. 

A public forum is being held Tuesday evening at 6:30 p.m. for the proposal's second reading. 

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