South Carolina General Assembly
112th Session, 1997-1998

Bill 275

                    Current Status

Bill Number:                    275
Ratification Number:            285
Act Number:                     271
Type of Legislation:            General Bill GB
Introducing Body:               Senate
Introduced Date:                19970130
Primary Sponsor:                Leventis
All Sponsors:                   Leventis, Ryberg, McConnell, Land,
                                McGill, Jackson, Russell, Courson,
                                Glover, O'Dell, Ravenel, Moore,
                                Gregory, Reese, Thomas, Waldrep, Rose,
                                Hutto and Passailaigue 
Drafted Document Number:        bbm\9073jm.97
Companion Bill Number:          3125
Date Bill Passed both Bodies:   19980320
Date of Last Amendment:         19970312
Governor's Action:              U Became law without signature of
Date of Governor's Action:      19980408
Subject:                        Dogs and cats, sterilization of;


Body    Date      Action Description                       Com     Leg Involved
______  ________  _______________________________________  _______ ____________

------  19980423  Act No. A271
------  19980408  Unsigned, became law without
                  signature of Governor
------  19980401  Ratified R285
House   19980320  Read third time, enrolled for
House   19980319  Read second time, unanimous
                  consent for third reading on
                  Friday, 19980320
House   19980318  Committee report: Favorable              20 HANR
House   19970318  Introduced, read first time,             20 HANR
                  referred to Committee
Senate  19970313  Read third time, sent to House
Senate  19970312  Read second time
Senate  19970312  Committee amendment adopted
Senate  19970311  Committee report: Favorable with         01 SANR
Senate  19970130  Introduced, read first time,             01 SANR
                  referred to Committee

View additional legislative information at the LPITS web site.

(Text matches printed bills. Document has been reformatted to meet World Wide Web specifications.)

(A271, R285, S275)


Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:

Sterilization of dogs and cats

SECTION 1. Chapter 3, Title 47 of the 1976 Code is amended by adding:

Article 8

Sterilization of Dogs and Cats

Section 47-3-470. As used in this article:

(1) 'Animal Shelter' means:

(a) a facility operated by or under contract for the State or a county, a municipal corporation, or other political subdivision of the State for the purpose of impounding or harboring seized, stray, homeless, abandoned, or unwanted dogs, cats, and other animals;

(b) a veterinary hospital or clinic operated by a veterinarian or veterinarians which operates for the purpose set forth in subitem (a) in addition to its customary purposes;

(c) a facility operated, owned, or maintained by an incorporated humane society, animal welfare society, or other nonprofit organization for the purpose of providing for and promoting the welfare, protection, and humane treatment of animals.

(2) 'Humane society' means an unincorporated nonprofit organization existing for the purpose of prevention of cruelty to animals.

(3) 'Public or private animal refuge' means harborers of unwanted animals of any breed, including crossbreeds, who provide food, shelter, and confinement for a group of dogs, a group of cats, or a combination of dogs and cats.

(4) 'Sexually mature animal' means a dog or cat that has reached the age of one hundred eighty days or six months or more.

(5) 'Sterilization' means the surgical removal of the reproductive organs of a dog or cat in order to render the animal unable to reproduce.

Section 47-3-480. (A) A public or private animal shelter, animal control agency operated by a political subdivision of this State, humane society, or public or private animal refuge shall make provisions for the sterilization of all dogs or cats acquired from the shelter, agency, society, or refuge by:

(1) providing sterilization by a licensed veterinarian before relinquishing custody of the animal; or

(2) entering into a written agreement with the person acquiring the animal guaranteeing that sterilization will be performed by a licensed veterinarian within thirty days after acquisition of a sexually mature animal or no later than six months of age except upon a written statement issued by a licensed veterinarian stating that such surgery would threaten the life of the animal.

(B) This section does not apply to a privately owned animal which the shelter, agency, society, or refuge may have in its possession for any reason if the owner of the animal claims or presents evidence that the animal is his property.

(C) All costs of sterilization pursuant to this section are the responsibility of the person acquiring the animal and, if performed before acquisition, may be included in the fees charged by the shelter, agency, society, or refuge for the animal.

(D) A person acquiring an animal from a shelter, an agency, a society, or a refuge which is not sterile at the time of acquisition shall submit to the shelter, agency, society, or refuge a signed statement from the licensed veterinarian performing the sterilization required by subsection (A) within seven days after sterilization attesting that the sterilization has been performed.

Section 47-3-490. A person who fails to comply with Section 47-3-480(A)(2) or 47-3-480(D) must forfeit ownership of the dog(s) or cat(s) acquired from the shelter, agency, society, or refuge which adopted the animal to the owner. In addition to forfeiting ownership, the person who acquired the animal must pay to the shelter, agency, society, or refuge the sum of $200.00 as liquidated damages. Such remedies shall be in addition to any other legal or equitable remedies as may be available to the shelter, agency, society, or refuge for breach of the written agreement as provided for in Section 47-3-480(A)(2) or failure to comply with Section 47-3-480(D).

Section 47-3-500. This article does not prohibit the adoption by a political subdivision of this State of shelter policies which are more stringent than the requirements of this article.

Time effective

SECTION 2. This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor.

Became law without the signature of the Governor -- 04/08/98.