YORK COUNTY, S.C. — The debate over whether dogs can be chained in York County is heating up.
The Humane Society of York County is now leading the charge, turning to social media to encourage people to reach out to their council members about what they’re calling a proposed change in the law.
But, there's been some confusion about what is currently legal.
As the law stands right now, chaining a dog within the county is illegal. But one council member said that law was written incorrectly and that was not the intention.
Many of the dogs at the Humane Society have come from rough pasts. A lot of them were kept chained and isolated.
"It’s very disheartening and very upsetting,” said board member Karen Brown.
Volunteers work hard to socialize the dogs so that they can be adopted. They’re now working double time to make sure there's no change in the county law that makes chaining a dog illegal.
“Dogs become aggressive being on a chain,” said Brown.
They took to Facebook to encourage people to reach out to their council members. The debate was sparked by comments made by Councilman William "Bump" Roddey at a recent Public Works meeting.
Roddey was traveling for the holiday but spoke to NBC Charlotte over the phone. He said the 2012 law was supposed to allow someone to chain their dog.
He sent an audio recording of a conversation between a resident and council members from a 2012 public meeting.
In it, an official clarifies a dog can be tethered in a fenced enclosure. The person asked if it can be on a chain and council members replied that is their understanding. The resident said that is not in the ordinance and asks if it can be added.
It apparently was not added. The ordinance as it stands clearly states a chain cannot be used to tether a dog within county limits.
Roddey said the law isn't being enforced as it was intended to when it was passed in 2012.
The only other council member who was serving in 2012 is Britt Blackwell. He told NBC Charlotte he remembered focusing on a trolley system being used to tether dogs. He said he and a majority of the current council members are against chaining dogs.
The issue will be discussed further at the next council meeting on July 15.
Brown said they're pushing for a new ordinance that adds other rules to ensure dogs have a safe and humane living environment. That ordinance still hasn't be brought to the full council.