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Answer Book
Animals
Animal Control Ordinance

Click here for the Greenville County Animal Control Ordinance/County Code.

Animal Control Frequently Asked Questions
General Questions
Question:

What are the hours of operation for Animal Control?

Answer:

We have animal control officers available Mondays-Fridays from 8:30am - 5:00pm. We also have an officer on call for emergencies only after hours, on the weekends, and during holidays. An emergent situation may include a severely injured or ill unowned dog or cat or any public safety threat (vicious animals, dog bites, suspected rabid animals, etc.). For emergencies after hours, please call (864) 271-5210 ext 8.

 

Question:

I have been bitten by a stray/unowned animal. What should I do?

Answer:

If the animal bit you and the bite broke through your skin, please call Greenville County Animal Control at (864) 467-7595 and call Rabies Control to report the animal bite at (864) 372-3273.

 

Question:

There is a pet locked inside a vehicle. What can I do?

Answer:

First, check to see if the vehicle is running and if the pet appears to be in distress. Then write down the license plate number and a description of the vehicle and call Greenville County Animal Control (864) 467-7595. If it is after hours, call (864) 271-5210 ext 8 to reach the animal control officer on-call.

 

Question:

There's a deceased animal on the road or near my home. Can Animal Control remove it?

Answer:

Animal Control does not pick up deceased animals. If the animal is on your property, you will need to remove it. If the animal is on the roadway and obstructing traffic, you can contact the Road & Bridge department at (864) 467-7016.

 

Question:

The Spartanburg Humane Society told me to call your Shelter about my lost dog/cat. Why would my pet be in Greenville?

Answer:

Lost/Stray pets that are picked up by Spartanburg County Animal Control are taken to Greenville County Animal Care for housing. They take a photo of the animal and post it to their website and we also photograph all stray animals and post them to our website (Cats posted here, Dogs posted here). You can call Greenville County Animal Care (864) 467-3950 and request an appointment to walk through and look for your lost pet or you can text LOSTAPET to 56525 to begin getting immediate help on what to do to locate your lost pet.

 

Question:

Do other cities in Greenville County have Animal Control? Could my lost pet be at their shelter?

Answer:

Yes, other cities have Animal Control Officers, but they bring lost pets to Greenville County Animal Care. You can call them directly to find out if they have picked up an animal, but have not yet dropped it off at the shelter.

 

Lost/Stray Dogs
Question:

I lost my dog. What do I do?

Answer:

Text LOSTAPET to 56525 or visit Greenville County Animal Care’s I lost my dog webpage for everything you need to know to find your lost dog.

 

Question:

I found a dog. What do I do?

Answer:

Text FOUNDAPET to 56525 or visit Greenville County Animal Care’s I found a dog webpage for everything you need to know to find a lost owner.

 

Question:

Are people allowed to let their dogs run loose?

Answer:

Pet owners should not allow their dogs to run at large off of their property. Sometimes a dog will get loose from its owner. Give the owner time to catch their dog before calling Animal Control, unless it’s in immediate danger. If the pet owner routinely allows their dog to run loose off of their property and it is creating a nuisance or public safety threat, call Greenville County Animal Control at (864) 467-7595 and an animal control officer can respond to make the pet owner aware of his/her responsibilities.

 

Question:

There is a stray dog running around but no one can catch it. Can Animal Control come catch it?

Answer:

If the dog is not in danger and is not a public safety threat, we recommend leaving the dog alone. Most roaming dogs live within 1,000 yards (a few blocks) of where they are found. If the dog is in danger or poses a public safety threat, we can send an officer out and may be able to set a humane dog trap at your location.

 

Lost/Stray Cats
Question:

I lost my cat. What do I do?

Answer:

Text LOSTAPET to 56525 or visit Greenville County Animal Care’s I lost my cat webpage for everything you need to know to find your lost cat.

 

Question:

I found a cat. What do I do?

Answer:

Text FOUNDAPET to 56525 or visit Greenville County Animal Care’s I found a cat webpage for everything you need to know to find a lost owner.

 

Question:

I found an injured cat. What should I do?

Answer:

Call animal control at (864) 467-7595 or you can take the cat to Greenville County Animal Care during their normal business hours (Mondays-Saturdays 8am-6pm).

 

Question:

I was told animal control does not pick up stray cats anymore. Why not?

Answer:

Many people want a quick fix to the cat overpopulation problem in Greenville County and ask for animal control to remove cats from their community. However, removing cats is not a long-term solution and has proven to be both ineffective and inhumane. Instead, Greenville County passed a resolution in 2015 to begin a community cat trap-neuter-return (TNR) program as a more effective and economical way to reduce outdoor cat and kitten populations and reduce mating behaviors like roaming, yowling, spraying, and other nuisances.

 

Question:

What is Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR)?

Answer:

In a Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) program, outdoor cats are humanely trapped (with humane box traps), brought to a veterinarian to be spayed or neutered, vaccinated, ear tipped (the universal sign that an outdoor cat has been neutered and vaccinated), and then returned to their outdoor home territory.

 

Question:

These aren't even my cats! Do I have to pay for them to get spayed/neutered and vaccinated?

Answer:

If you live in Greenville County, it is FREE to get an outdoor cat spayed/neutered, vaccinated, and ear tipped as long as you bring it to Greenville County Animal Care Clinic. Click here to find out more about Greenville County’s free TNR program. Other clinics may offer discounted pricing for similar services.

 

Question:

Will animal control TNR the cats in my neighborhood or do I have to do it?

Answer:

We estimate that there are about 125,000 outdoor, free-roaming cats living in Greenville County. There is no possible way that the small team of animal control officers in Greenville County can trap enough of these cats to effectively solve cat overpopulation in our county. Cat overpopulation is a community-wide issue and the only way we can fix it is if we have community-wide support. For these reasons, we do ask all community members to humanely TNR outdoor cats.

 

Question:

I don't own a humane box trap. Do I have to buy one to participate in the community cat TNR?

Answer:

If you do not have access to a humane box trap, you can call (864) 467-3950 to make an appointment to pick up a humane, live trap from Animal Care.

 

Question:

Why is returning cats a better solution to my cat problems than removing them?

Answer:

When outdoor cats are removed from an area, the remaining cats breed even more and neighboring cats move into the newly available territory. Removing a cat or two from your yard or neighborhood will almost certainly result in MORE cat population growth, not less. TNR is a better solution because it doesn’t remove cats, but it will make them infertile so they will not create more cats. TNR also helps to eliminate all of the unwelcomed mating behaviors (spraying, yowling, roaming, etc.) that make outdoor cats such a nuisance to have around.

 

Question:

Stray cats carry lots of diseases. Aren’t you concerned more people will get rabies if we don’t remove stray cats?

Answer:

No. Outdoor "stray" cats are not a health threat to communities in which they live and pose no greater risk to human beings or other cats than "pet cats". The last confirmed cat-to-human transmission of rabies occurred in 1975 and the risk of catching rabies from an outdoor cat is almost non-existent. Every cat that we TNR in Greenville County also receives a rabies vaccine, further reducing the incidence of rabies transmission.

 

Question:

What if an outdoor cat is just someone's missing cat? How will someone find their missing cat if you don’t take it to the shelter?

Answer:

Cats who enter the shelter are the least likely to ever find their way back home. In fact, less than 2% of all of the cats brought to Greenville County Animal Care are ever found by their owner. Cats are much more likely to find their way back home if we leave them where they are or put them back where they were found.

 

Question:

Isn’t it cruel for cats to live outdoors? Wouldn’t it be better to find them a safe place to live indoors?

Answer:

For thousands of years, cats have lived outdoors alongside people and can live healthy, fulfilling lives in the outdoors. Most outdoor cats are unsocialized ("feral") and so they would not be able to live safely and happily indoors. Before TNR, 7 out of 10 cats brought to the local shelter had to be euthanized because they were not able to be safely adopted into indoor homes.

 

Question:

Why would Animal Control want to put homeless cats outdoors to fend for themselves?

Answer:

Just because they don’t live in our homes doesn’t mean they are homeless. Outdoor cats have "home areas" where they are often cared for very much by people who enjoy having them around and feed them. Cats have coexisted with predator species like dogs, coyotes, foxes, etc. for thousands of years. Regardless of our concerns for the well-being of outdoor cats, TNR is still the only effective approach to reduce the number of cats and kittens living in our neighborhoods.

 

Question:

What about the birds? Cats kill millions of birds every year!

Answer:

Cats are scavengers. Decades of studies prove that when cats do hunt- which is not nearly as often as they scavenge- they prefer a diet of rodents rather than birds. Still, many bird and wildlife advocates support TNR because it’s the only effective way to reduce populations of outdoor cats.

 

WILDLIFE
Question:

What can be done about wildlife in my yard?

Answer:

If you believe the wildlife in your yard poses a public health and safety threat to you or your family, contact the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) (864) 654-8266 or 1 (800) 922-5431. DNR will only respond to emergencies. If you are simply looking for ways to deter wildlife from coming into your yard, check out this site for tips and tricks.

 

Question:

What can be done about injured or orphaned wildlife?

Answer:

The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) maintains a registry of wildlife rehabilitators that can assist with injured and orphaned wildlife. If the species of wildlife is not listed on the registry, please contact DNR at (864) 654-8266 or (1-800) 922-5431.

 

Question:

Who can help with a snake that is visible INSIDE my house?

Answer:

Contact Greenville County Animal Control (864) 467-7595.

ANIMAL CRUELTY
Question:

I want to report animal abuse, cruelty, and/or neglect of animals. Who can I call?

Answer:

Contact Greenville County Animal Control (864) 467-7595.

 

Question:

Are people allowed to chain dogs outside?

Answer:

No, when dogs are kept outside they must be maintained inside of a fenced yard, walked on a leash, or tethered to an approved running line, pulley or trolley system elevated no higher than 7 feet off the ground, in a manner that allows the tether to move freely along the length of the running line. The running line must be at least 20 feet in length between the two stop points. The tether must be connected to the dog by a buckle-type collar or body harness made of nylon, leather or other durable and non-metallic material and must be properly fitted so as to not cause injury to the dog or embed in the dog’s neck. Only one dog may be attached to each running line, pulley or trolley system so as to prevent injury, strangulation or entanglement. Dogs under 3 months of age shall not be connected to a tether or trolley system.

 

Question:

Are people allowed to leave their dogs outside 24 hours a day?

Answer:

Yes, but the dog must be on a running line, pulley or trolley system, have wholesome food, water and a weatherproof dog house.

 

Question:

My neighbor is abusing or neglecting their pet. Can I make an anonymous complaint to animal control about them?

Answer:

The reporting persons information must be provided at the time of the call. Your information remains confidential and will not be shared with the pet owner, but is needed to complete the report. We ask that the reporting person provide the complete address, description of animal(s), and violations. The reporting person must be a witness to the violation. If your neighbor is charged with animal cruelty/neglect, you may be subpoenaed to testify in court.

 

Question:

I have called several times to report an abuse/neglect situation with my neighbor’s pet and nothing is happening. What else can I do?

Answer:

Greenville County Animal Control responds to all calls of animal abuse, neglect, and cruelty. If the animal is not in immediate danger and the owner is willing to rectify the situation, we start by educating the pet owner on his/her responsibilities and help the pet owner connect with human animal support services for assistance. If an owner does not come into compliance within the time frame given, or if the animal is being intentionally abused or neglected and is in danger, we will intervene. In some situations, an animal may be seized and held in the animal shelter pending the outcome of the case. In other situations, the animal may remain with the owner until the case is heard in court. If you feel like the animal is in immediate danger, call Greenville County Animal Control (864) 467-7595.

 

Contact Information

Greenville County Animal Control
328 Furman Hall Road
Greenville SC 29609

864.467.7595
864.467.3940 Fax

 

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