Current Status Bill Number:
278Ratification Number: 344Act Number: 367Type of Legislation: General Bill GBIntroducing Body: SenateIntroduced Date: 19970130Primary Sponsor: LeventisAll Sponsors: Leventis, Reese, Glover, Ravenel, O'Dell, Gregory, McConnell, Land, McGill, Russell, Jackson, Courson, Thomas, Waldrep, Rose, Passailaigue, Hutto and RybergDrafted Document Number: bbm\9077jm.97Companion Bill Number: 3358Date Bill Passed both Bodies: 19980429Date of Last Amendment: 19980416Governor's Action: SDate of Governor's Action: 19980527Subject: Animals, ill-treatment of; cruelty, abandonment, transportation of, provisions and penalties
Body Date Action Description Com Leg Involved ______ ________ _______________________________________ _______ ____________ ------ 19980624 Act No. A367 ------ 19980527 Signed by Governor ------ 19980521 Ratified R344 Senate 19980429 Concurred in House amendment, enrolled for ratification House 19980423 Read third time, returned to Senate with amendment House 19980422 Read second time House 19980421 Request for debate by Representative Kelley Barfield Edge Keegan Loftis Davenport Witherspoon House 19980416 Amended House 19980415 Committee report: Favorable with 20 HANR amendment House 19970416 Introduced, read first time, 20 HANR referred to Committee Senate 19970415 Amended, read third time, sent to House Senate 19970311 Read second time Senate 19970311 Committee amendment adopted Senate 19970306 Committee report: Favorable with 01 SANR amendment Senate 19970130 Introduced, read first time, 01 SANR referred to CommitteeView additional legislative information at the LPITS web site.
(A367, R344, S278)
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 47-1-10, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO THE DEFINITION OF ANIMAL, OR "ANIMALS", SO AS TO REDEFINE THESE TERMS AND DEFINE THE WORDS "SUSTENANCE" AND "SHELTER"; TO AMEND SECTION 47-1-40, AS AMENDED, RELATING TO THE ILL-TREATMENT OF AN ANIMAL, SO AS TO ALLOW FOR THE DISPOSITION OF A FIRST OFFENSE CASE OF A PERSON WHO HAS ALLEGEDLY VIOLATED THIS SECTION BY PERMITTING THE CASE TO BE HEARD EITHER IN MAGISTRATE'S COURT OR MUNICIPAL COURT; TO AMEND SECTION 47-1-50, AS AMENDED, RELATING TO PENALTIES FOR THE MISUSE AND ABANDONMENT OF AN ANIMAL, SO AS TO DELETE THE PROVISION THAT A PERSON MAY NOT KNOWINGLY OR WILFULLY AUTHORIZE OR PERMIT AN ANIMAL TO BE SUBJECTED TO UNNECESSARY TORTURE, SUFFERING, OR CRUELTY; TO AMEND SECTION 47-1-70, AS AMENDED, RELATING TO THE ABANDONMENT OF AN ANIMAL AND THE DEFINITION OF THE TERM "NECESSITIES OF LIFE", SO AS TO DELETE THE REQUIREMENT THAT AN ANIMAL MUST BE GIVEN A SUPPLY OF CLEAN, FRESH, AND POTABLE WATER "AT LEAST ONCE DAILY", AND ALLOW OFFENSES UNDER THIS SECTION TO BE TRIED EITHER IN MAGISTRATE'S COURT OR MUNICIPAL COURT; TO AMEND SECTION 47-1-120, RELATING TO THE CUSTODY OF AN ANIMAL WHEN ITS KEEPER IS ARRESTED, SO AS TO DELETE LANGUAGE AND PROVISIONS REGARDING CERTAIN VEHICLES; TO AMEND SECTION 47-1-140, RELATING TO THE CARE OF AN ANIMAL AFTER ITS CUSTODIAN'S ARREST, SO AS TO DELETE THE REQUIREMENT THAT AN ANIMAL TAKEN AFTER ITS CUSTODIAN'S ARREST BE CARED AND PROVIDED FOR PROPERLY BY THE PERSON MAKING THE ARREST "UNTIL THE OWNER TAKES CHARGE OF THE ANIMAL", ALLOW AN ANIMAL TO BE SEIZED PRECEDING AN ARREST AND PURSUANT TO SECTION 47-1-150, AND DELETE THE REQUIREMENT THAT THE OWNER TAKE CHARGE OF THE ANIMAL WITHIN FIFTEEN DAYS FROM THE DATE OF NOTICE FROM THE PERSON MAKING THE ARREST; TO AMEND SECTION 47-1-150, RELATING TO ANIMAL CRUELTY LAWS, SO AS TO PROVIDE THAT, IF AN ANIMAL IS SEIZED PURSUANT TO THIS SECTION AND THE SOUTH CAROLINA SOCIETY FOR THE PREVENTION OF CRUELTY TO ANIMALS OR OTHER SOCIETY INCORPORATED FOR THAT PURPOSE IS INVOLVED WITH THE SEIZURE, THE AMOUNT MAY BE HELD PENDING CRIMINAL DISPOSITION OF THE CASE AT A FACILITY MAINTAINED OR CONTRACTED BY THAT AGENCY, AND TO ADD FURTHER PROVISIONS WHICH PROVIDE, AMONG OTHER THINGS, THAT ANY LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER OR AGENT OF ANY COUNTY OR OF THE SOUTH CAROLINA SOCIETY FOR THE PREVENTION OF CRUELTY TO ANIMALS OR ANY SOCIETY INCORPORATED FOR THAT PURPOSE MAY MOVE BEFORE A MAGISTRATE FOR CERTAIN ORDERS AND THAT IF ANY SEIZED ANIMAL HELD BY COURT ORDER AT THE OWNER'S PREMISES IS REMOVED WITHOUT NOTIFICATION TO THE INVESTIGATING AGENCY, OR IF AN ANIMAL BECOMES SICK OR DIES AND THE OWNER OR CUSTODIAN FAILS IMMEDIATELY TO NOTIFY THE INVESTIGATING AGENCY, THE OWNER MUST BE HELD IN CONTEMPT OF COURT AND FINED UP TO THE PENALTIES PROVIDED BY LAW; TO AMEND SECTION 47-1-170, RELATING TO PENALTIES, FINES, AND LIENS ASSESSED UPON CRUEL USE OF AN ANIMAL, SO AS TO DELETE THE CURRENT PROVISIONS AND REQUIRE THE CONVICTED OWNER OR PERSON HAVING CUSTODY OF A CRUELLY USED ANIMAL TO FORFEIT OWNERSHIP OF THE ANIMAL AND BE RESPONSIBLE FOR COSTS INCURRED AS ORDERED BY THE SENTENCING COURT; AND TO REPEAL SECTION 47-1-30, RELATING TO WILFUL ABUSE OF HORSES OR OTHER "BEASTS OF BURDEN".
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:
SECTION 1. Section 47-1-10 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
"Section 47-1-10. As used in this chapter:
(1) 'Animal' or 'animals' shall be held to include all living vertebrate creatures except homo sapiens.
(2) 'Sustenance' means adequate food provided at suitable intervals of quantities of wholesome foodstuff suitable for the species and age, sufficient to maintain a reasonable level of nutrition to allow for proper growth and weight and adequate water provided with constant access to a supply of clean, fresh, and potable water provided in a suitable manner for the species.
(3) 'Shelter' means shelter that reasonably may be expected to protect the animal from physical suffering or impairment of health due to exposure to the elements or adverse weather."
Offense triable in municipal court
SECTION 2. Section 47-1-40 of the 1976 Code, as last amended by Act 430 of 1992, is further amended to read:
"Section 47-1-40. (A) Whoever overloads, overdrives, overworks, or ill-treats any animal, or deprives any animal of necessary sustenance or shelter, or inflicts unnecessary pain or suffering upon any animal, or causes these things to be done, for every offense is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be punished by imprisonment not exceeding sixty days or by a fine of not less than one hundred dollars nor more than four hundred dollars for a first offense; by imprisonment not exceeding ninety days or by a fine not exceeding eight hundred dollars, or both, for a second offense; or by imprisonment not exceeding two years or by a fine not exceeding two thousand dollars, or both, for a third or subsequent offense. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a first offense under this subsection shall be tried in magistrate's or municipal court.
(B) Whoever tortures, torments, needlessly mutilates, cruelly kills, or inflicts excessive or repeated unnecessary pain or suffering upon any animal or causes the acts to be done for any of the offenses is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be punished by imprisonment of not less than one hundred eighty days and not to exceed two years and by a fine of five thousand dollars.
(C) This section does not apply to fowl, accepted animal husbandry practices of farm operations and the training of animals, the practice of veterinary medicine, or activity authorized by Title 50."
SECTION 3. Section 47-1-50 of the 1976 Code, as last amended by Act 398 of 1992, is further amended to read:
"Section 47-1-50. (A) An owner, a possessor, or a person having the charge or custody of an animal may not:
(1) cruelly drive or work it when unfit for labor;
(2) carry it, or cause it to be carried, in or upon a vehicle or otherwise in an unnecessarily cruel or inhumane manner.
(B) A person who violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be punished for each offense in the manner prescribed in Section 47-1-40(A)."
Offenses triable in municipal court; etc.
SECTION 4. Section 47-1-70 of the 1976 Code, as last amended by Act 398 of 1992, is further amended to read:
"Section 47-1-70. (A) A person may not abandon an animal. As used in this section 'abandonment' is defined as deserting, forsaking, or intending to give up absolutely an animal without securing another owner or without providing the necessities of life. 'Necessities of life' includes:
(1) adequate water which means a constant access to a supply of clean, fresh, and potable water provided in a suitable manner for the species;
(2) adequate food which means provision at suitable intervals of quantities of wholesome foodstuff suitable for the species and age, sufficient to maintain a reasonable level of nutrition to allow for proper growth and weight;
(3) adequate shelter which means shelter that reasonably may be expected to protect the animal from physical suffering or impairment of health due to exposure to the elements or adverse weather.
(B) A person who violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be fined not less than two hundred nor more than five hundred dollars or imprisoned not more than thirty days, or both. Offenses under this section must be tried in the magistrate's or municipal court.
(C) A hunting dog that is positively identifiable in accordance with Section 47-3-510 or Section 47-3-530 is exempt from this section."
Provisions regarding vehicles deleted
SECTION 5. Section 47-1-120 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
"Section 47-1-120. When a person arrested is, at the time of the arrest, in charge of an animal, an agent of the South Carolina Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, or of any society incorporated for that purpose, may take charge of the animal and deposit the animal in a safe place of custody or deliver the animal into the possession of the police or sheriff of the county or place where the arrest was made, who shall assume the custody of the animal; and all necessary expenses incurred in taking charge of the animal shall be a lien thereon."
Seizure of an animal preceding arrest; etc.
SECTION 6. Section 47-1-140 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
"Section 47-1-140. The person making the arrest, with or without warrant, shall use reasonable diligence to give notice to the owner of the animals found in the charge or custody of the person arrested, if the person is not the owner, and shall care and provide properly for the animals. The person making such arrest shall have a lien on the animals for the expense of such care and provision. But if such person making the arrest be an agent of the South Carolina Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, or other society incorporated for that purpose, the provisions of Section 47-1-120 shall apply in lieu of the provisions of this section. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, an animal may be seized preceding an arrest and pursuant to Section 47-1-150."
Safe holding of seized animals; orders; etc.
SECTION 7. Section 47-1-150 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
"Section 47-1-150. (A) When complaint is made on oath or affirmation to any magistrate authorized to issue warrants in criminal cases that the complainant believes and has reasonable cause to believe that the laws in relation to cruelty to animals have been or are being violated in any particular building or place, such magistrate, if satisfied that there is reasonable cause for such belief, shall issue a search warrant authorizing any sheriff, deputy sheriff, deputy state constable, constable or police officer to search such building or place; but no search shall be made after sunset, unless specially authorized by the magistrate upon satisfactory cause shown. If an animal is seized pursuant to this section and the South Carolina Society for the Prevention of Cruelty of Animals, or other society incorporated for that purpose is involved with the seizure, the animal may be held pending criminal disposition of the case at a facility maintained or contracted by that agency.
(B) The purpose of this section is to provide a means by which a neglected or mistreated animal can be:
(1) removed from its present custody, or
(2) made the subject of an order to provide care, issued to its owner by the magistrate or municipal judge, any law enforcement officer, or any agent of the county or of the South Carolina Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, or any society incorporated for that purpose and given protection and an appropriate and humane disposition made.
(C) Any law enforcement officer or any agent of any county or of the South Carolina Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, or any society incorporated for that purpose may move before a magistrate for an order to:
(1) lawfully take custody of any animal found neglected or cruelly treated by removing the animal from its present location if deemed by the court that removal is necessary to prevent further suffering or ill-treatment, or
(2) order the owner of any animal found neglected or cruelly treated to provide certain care to the animal at the owner's expense without removal of the animal from its present location, and shall forthwith petition the magistrate or municipal judge of the county or municipality wherein the animal is found for a hearing, to be set within twenty-four hours after the date of seizure of the animal or issuance of the order to provide care and held not more than two days after the setting of such date, to determine whether the owner, if known, is able to provideadequately for the animal and is fit to have custody of the animal. The hearing shall be concluded, and the court order entered the date the hearing is commenced. No fee shall be charged for the filing of the petition. Nothing herein is intended to require court action for the taking into custody and making proper disposition of stray or abandoned animals as lawfully performed by animal control agents.
(D) The officer or agent of any county or of the South Carolina Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, or of any society incorporated for that purpose, taking charge of any animal pursuant to the provisions of this section shall have written notice served prior to the hearing set forth in subsection (C)(2), upon the owner of the animal, if he is known and is residing in the county where the animal was taken. The sheriff of the county shall not charge a fee for service of such notice. If the owner of the animal is known but is residing outside of the county wherein the animal was taken, notice of the hearing shall be by publication.
(E) If any seized animal held by court order at the owner's premises is removed without notification to the investigating agency, or if an animal becomes sick or dies, and the owner or custodian fails to immediately notify the investigating agency, the owner must be held in contempt of court and fined up to the penalties provided by law.
(F) The officer or agent of any county or of the South Carolina Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, or of any society incorporated for that purpose, taking charge of an animal as provided for in this section shall provide for the animal until either:
(1) The owner is adjudged by the court to be able to provide adequately for, and have custody of, the animal, in which case the animal shall be returned to the owner upon payment for the care and provision of the animal while in the agent's or officer's custody; or
(2) The animal is turned over to the officer or agent as provided in Section 47-1-170 and a humane disposition of the animal is made.
(G) If the court determines that the owner is able to provide adequately for, and have custody of the animal, the order shall provide that the animal in possession of the officer or agent be claimed and removed by the owner within seven days after the date of the order."
Forfeiture of animal ownership; payment of costs
SECTION 8. Section 47-1-170 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
"Section 47-1-170. The owner or person having charge or custody of an animal cruelly used who is convicted of any violation of this chapter forfeits ownership, charge, or custody of the animal and at the discretion of the court, the person who is charged with or convicted of a violation of this chapter must be ordered to pay costs incurred to care for the animal and related expenses."
SECTION 9. Section 47-1-30 of the 1976 Code is repealed.
SECTION 10. This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor.
Approved the 27th day of May, 1998.