I, the undersigned, would support legislation to strengthen South Carolina law and enable courts to prevent convicted animal hoarders and abusers from harming and killing more animals.
Current state law does not prohibit convicted cruelty offenders from keeping any animals they might have and does nothing to prevent them from acquiring more, even immediately. Magistrates--who hear many of the cruelty cases in South Carolina--do not currently have the judicial discretion and tools that they need, such as sentencing offenders to carefully crafted probation, critical to preventing repeat crimes against animals.
For example, in April 2012, hoarder Elizabeth Owen was convicted of denying care to some of the approximately 240 cats she kept in dark, stiflingly hot storage units near Myrtle Beach. The Horry County court that sentenced Owen did not restrict her possession of animals at all--allowing Owen to amass and neglect animals all over again. Hoarders are essentially animal addicts, and they are known to start over once animals are taken from them--unless our judicial system prevents it.
Most states restrict convicted animal abusers' possession of animals. Please pass legislation to update South Carolina law in this way and protect the state's animals from people known to hoard, abuse, and neglect them.