Whatever It Takes
OUR OPINION: Run These Dog Abusers Out of Laurens County.
Whatever It Takes.
Short of stripping people of their Constitutional rights to due process, we should do.
The Laurens County Council is nearing budget time. It should take a very close look at its law enforcement and animal control budgets - and hire more officers. We should implement some sort to “Snitch Line” where if you see an animal being abused, you can call and someone will go right then to investigate. Chance are, there are more dogs on chains where that one came from - the alleged “puppy mill” in Ware Shoals was uncovered because one dog was brought in malnourished.
We are kicking this can down the road - the National Humane Society and affiliates are bailing us out, because there aren’t the resources here to deal with all the abused dogs that people in our county generate. Yes, “we ARE doing the best we can, with what we have” - Let’s get more, if need be.
We need an anti-tethering law. We need to get over this mindset of “Whatever I do on my property ‘out in the country’ is my business.” We are not an advocate of Big Brother - but if you are chaining dogs for the purpose of making them “bait” or “fighting mad,” you need to go live somewhere else. Michael Vick has some property he’s trying to sell.
We’ve had $14 BILLION in investment in this county during the last 10 years. You know what will make that facet run dry quicker than anything else? Being known as a community that murders animals.
Some of this is psychosis and a mental illness - some of these dog-abusers actually believe in their hearts that they love animals, they are providing them a home. We need to steer them toward the already-available mental health counseling locally, and statewide. Our state already knows the challenge of hiring more mental health counselors -- colleges are not producing enough - but hire them, we must, because they are needed desperately by all facets of our society (veterans, school children, the elderly etc.)
THIS IS A HEAVY BURDEN FOR LAW ENFORCEMENT. We understand that. We understand that the Sheriff’s Office is operating in a building that can’t store evidence in compliance with state regulations. Let’s move them out of there - somewhere on the by-pass, and put the dog pound out there beside them, and make it bigger, and sign contracts with vets so they’re not treating Our Animals for free. Let’s take ownership of this problem.
Because, it’s all of us. What we do to “the least of these,” that’s on all of us. Good people are working every day - at Laurens County Animal Control and the Laurens County Humane Society - to stem this bloody tide. We need to shoulder up with them. Snitch on a neighbor, if need be. Pay attention to court cases that involve alleged animal cruelty - there have been many in Laurens County in the past two years, most unresolved to the best of our knowledge.
We do not have enough prison space to lock up animal abusers for long periods of time. It’s got to be personal shame - “I got locked up in Laurens County and, whew, I don’t want to go back there” - that makes these dog-fighters and food- and water-non-providers and dog-chainers want to live somewhere else.
We hope they find no safe haven, anywhere.