Cruelty Prevention

People who are violent to animals rarely stop there

Dog Fighting 101

Learn about this cruel bloodsport and what you can do to stop it

Why Chaining is Cruel

Doesn’t man’s best friend deserve better than life on a chain?

How to Report an Incident

If you live in Greenwood, South Carolina and you witness someone mistreating an animal through blatant abuse, neglect, no provision for adequate food and/or water or no provision for adequate shelter, please call either your City Police or County Sheriff’s department immediately. When reporting an incident, please provide the street address of where the animal is located.

South Carolina Cruelty Prevention Laws

The following is from the Fall 1998 Humane Society of the United States Regional News:

“For the first time since the late 1800’s, South Carolina’s animal cruelty law has been updated. Included is a broader and clearer definition of the terms ‘animal,’ ‘shelter,’ and ‘sustenance.’ It also clarifies procedures for seizure and forfeiture of animals, and allows on-site impoundment in major cruelty cases.”

S.C. Code of Law Title 47 – Animals, Livestock and Poultry
S.C. Code of Laws Title 16 Chapter 27 – Animal Fighting And Baiting Act

Some excerpts from this updated law are below:


“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.

“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.

47-1-40. Ill-treatment of animals generally.

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.

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 FIVE years and by a fine of five thousand dollars.

47-1-70. Abandonment of animals; penalties; hunting dog exceptions.

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.

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.

47-3-530. Penalties for stealing or killing identifiable dog.

Any person stealing any positively identifiable dog is guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction must be fined not less than five hundred dollars nor more than one thousand dollars or imprisoned for not less than thirty days nor more than six months, or both.

Any person killing any dog when owner may be identified by means of a collar bearing sufficient information or some other form of positive identification is guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction must be fined not less than five hundred dollars nor more than one thousand dollars or imprisoned for not less than thirty days nor more than six months, or both.

47-3-740. Owning or harboring animal for fighting or attacking humans or domestic animals prohibited; selling, breeding, buying or attempting to buy, or intent to do same, prohibited; exceptions.

No person may own or harbor an animal for the purpose of fighting or train, torment, badger, bait, or use an animal for the purpose of causing or encouraging the animal to unprovoked attacks upon human beings or domestic animals.

No person may possess with intent to sell, offer for sale, breed, or buy or attempt to buy a known dangerous animal;

The Link Between Animal Abuse and Human Violence

Although the link between violence and cruelty to animals has been recognized and researched, there still seems to be a great lack of understanding concerning this profound issue among the general public as well as legislative leaders.

When 15-year old Kip Kinkel opened fire on his Springfield, Oregon classmates last year, killing one classmate and injuring 23 others, it was not the first time he had been violent. Kinkel was known for killing cats and mounting their heads on poles.

Russell Eugene Weston, Jr., charged with gunning down two policemen at the U.S. Capitol in July, had picked up a shotgun and killed a dozen cats in his hometown the previous day.

Violence in our society is disturbingly common. Recent studies show a clear connection between acts of animal cruelty and crimes against people.

Many of the country’s most notorious serial killers-Ted Bundy, David “Son of Sam” Berkowitz and Jeffrey Dahmer have childhood histories of repeated animal cruelty. Most professionals agree that animal abuse is not just the result of a personality flaw in the abuser, but a symptom of a deeply disturbed family. A person who hurts an animal generally feels powerless and vents his frustration on animals, who can’t defend themselves.

The FBI began to see a connection between cruelty to animals and other violent behavior in the late 1970s, according to Supervisory Special Agent Alan Brantley reports “This [animal cruelty] is not a harmless venting of emotion in a healthy individual; this is a warning sign that this individual… needs some sort of intervention.”

Once the legal system recognizes the correlation between cruelty to animals and human violence, much more can be done to aggressively combat this problem. The true challenge is to prevent animal cruelty before it happens. We need to send a strong message that our society abhors this behavior. This means teaching children early on to respect and care for animals, implementing educational programs for the law enforcement community, identifying individuals who are “at-risk” and providing intervention, strengthening anti-cruelty laws, and pursuing the vigorous prosecution of offenders, with appropriate penalties for their crimes. This is a battle than can be won!

From an article published by the Animal League Defense Fund

Worth the Read

Humane Education

Today’s children are tomorrow’s pet owners. Teaching them how to treat animals will pay off in the years ahead.

Activity Ideas for Teachers & Students

Discussion Group:

Animals can be such a wonderful part of our lives. Sadly, some people are cruel to animals. What would you do if you saw someone abusing an animal? List your ideas and then share them with your class.

Study Topic:

Look at the current laws in your community and how they deal with incidents of animal cruelty.

Take Action:

Organize community seminars on violence and its impact on animals and humans. Involve representatives of local government, schools, social services, animal control and shelter facilities.

Important Reminders

From The Journal of The National Humane Education Society