Pickens Co. Town Hall centers around statewide bill on dog tethe - FOX Carolina 21

Pickens Co. Town Hall centers around statewide bill on dog tethering

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PICKENS, SC (FOX Carolina) -

"You may have heard that this bill bans tethering. It does not - it defines what cruel tethering is," Barbara Richardson said. 

"The fact is people who have dogs on chains do not abuse them as a general rule," one man said at the Town Hall meeting in Pickens County. 

Pickens County Performing Arts Center was filled with people who were split down the middle on dog tethering. No matter what side of the room they sat on, both supporters and opponents said they care about their animals and it's the reason they are so invested in a statewide bill. 

"That's all we want is for you to have compassion for God's creatures," one woman said. 

A statewide bill, S-8741, has now made its way through the Senate and into the House. It was the center of Town Hall discussion in Pickens County Thursday evening. 

"I think this is an issue that my constituents of both sides are very passionate about," Representative Davey Hiott said. 

Representative Hiott is the chairman of the Natural Resources and Environmental Affairs Committee where this bill sits currently. For those in favor of the bill, they said it protects against extreme tethering cases.

"South Carolina right now...there's no regulation on how long or under what conditions someone can tether their dog," Richardson said.

She said she wants to see that change. 

Richardson explained this bill does not ban tethering. If an animal owner is away for up to an hour, the owner would have to provide some sort of dog shelter, food and water while they are away. The bill explains the tether cannot cause "injury or illness." 

Richardson held up pictures of abused, chained up dogs at the meeting, explaining this kind of tethering has to come to a halt.

These hunters said they're being clumped into a category where if they tether, "they are animal abusers." Red shirt wearing supporters said, they don't see the connection between hunting and this bill. 

Rep. Hiott said he will take everything said at Thursday's town hall and pass it on during future discussions. The bill will go before a subcommittee before moving onto the House. 

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