AIKEN COUNTY, S.C. (WJBF) – Stricter animal cruelty laws could be passed in Aiken County.
A tethering ordinance, that was tabled at the last county council meeting, is back on the docket Tuesday.
Animal advocates and some council members are hoping this time it passes without a problem.
A few weeks ago, Neo accidentally stumbled into a trap set up by volunteers of Team StinkyKiss.
Little did he know that would be the day his life changed forever.
“I mean the day that we found him, we were all just heartbroken.” Tamara Santos, a volunteer of Team StinkyKiss, said.
“It was discovered that he was actually used as a bait dog, based on his injuries and some other things.” Gretchen Iakovidis, a volunteer Team StinkyKiss, told WJBF NewsChannel 6. “Like his teeth had been pulled and filed down flat.”
Volunteers of Team StinkyKiss say people think dog fighting rings in Aiken County are a myth, but Neo is living proof.
While it’s unknown if Neo was a tethered dog, enforcing anti-tethering laws will help animal control look for signs of dog fighting rings.
That’s why this group is urging county council to approve the ordinance.
“Well it’ll bring us into this century with the rest of the country,” Iakovidis said. “Augusta has already done such a thing. Richmond County already has anti-tethering law and they are just across the river. So there’s no reason we shouldn’t follow their lead.”
Aiken County council didn’t initially pass the ordinance because of wording that would prevent roosters from being tethered.
“That totally took me by surprise. That was not something I even thought of tethering, but evidently they do. So week took that out,” said Aiken County Council Vice Chairman Andrew Siders. “We want to make it a clean ordinance for dogs. So that’s going to be the focus.”
Council members are certain the kinks have been straightened out and the refined ordinance will pass.
So, together they can protect more dogs, like Neo.
“We don’t need things like this going on in our county,” Siders told WJBF NewsChannel 6.
The tethering ordinance will go before council members at the meeting which starts at 7 p.m.
If passed the ordinance will go into effect immediately.
Anyone caught violating the ordinance will be fined and risk having their pets taken away.
To follow Neo’s journey, click here.
Count on WJBF NewsChannel 6 to bring you the latest on this developing story.