I am a proud, lifelong resident of the state of South Carolina. Sadly, many dog owners who live here do not know the South Carolina dog registration laws. Maybe the following information will be helpful in giving those folks some insight regarding this state’s do’s and don’ts on the subject.
For starters, don’t let your dogs run loose off your property. Roaming dogs (yes, that includes letting them wander into your neighbor’s yard), car-chasing dogs, trash can diggers and even dogs who bark nonstop are all considered a menace. As the pet owner, allowing this behavior can not only mark you as being irresponsible — it can also cost you $50 or more if you are charged.
South Carolina Dog Registration
According to the South Carolina Consolidated Dog Laws, your dog does not have to be registered with the state. This choice is totally up to the individual dog owner. Keep in mind, though, that a good point in having your pet registered in the state is that if your pet is ever lost or stolen, the registration could prove helpful in finding him.
For a small fee, which is determined by the S.C. Department of Natural Resources, your dog can be registered [PDF]. The fee will be no more than $5. Your pet’s registration number can be tattooed on any visible part of his body. The SCDNR will keep records of your name and address.
County, City Regulations Vary
On the flip side of the South Carolina dog registration laws, there are individual county and city rules that should be followed. You should definitely check with your own local regulations, but listed below are just a few of the county/city ordinances for my home state:
- In Sumter County, where I live, there is no law requiring your dogs to be registered. (My husband and I have chosen not to have our chihuahua, Angel, registered — simply because she is an inside dog. She is never outside without our supervision.)
- Richland County pet owners must have any dog over 6 months old vaccinated against rabies. They must also purchase a pet tag from Richland County Animal Care. It is the dog owner’s responsibility to keep the vaccines and tags current. The tag will let an animal care officer know that this pet belongs to someone, in case the pet is lost. By having the tag with the information needed, you can ensure that the animal is returned to you. Columbia requires registration of both dogs and cats. Failure to register could result in jail time or a $200 fine.
- In Myrtle Beach, a big tourist attraction in South Carolina, residents’ dogs must be registered yearly. The proceeds benefit the Grand Strand Humane Society. Dogs that live in this city must wear a tag on their collar.
- Simpsonville requires registration of dogs.
- Aiken requires dog and cat licenses, which are significantly less expensive if your pet has been spayed or neutered.
Know the Rules, Follow Them
I hope this article has helped to familiarize you with the South Carolina dog registration laws. Pet dogs can get away from us in an instant. As we know, no matter how careful we are, pretty much anything can happen. So, please study the rules of your state, city and county. Follow all mandated laws (which change from time to time), and weigh the pros and cons if you have a choice on registering your faithful friend.