SC lawmakers push bills to prevent animal cruelty offenders from adopting

SOUTH CAROLINA — Animal advocates and lawmakers in South Carolina are making sure pets are protected before they are adopted.

Several new bills would make it tougher for those convicted of animal cruelty to adopt.

One would make you wait up to five years to adopt if you have been convicted of animal cruelty more than once.

The other bill would prevent offenders from ever adopting again.

Former York County Sheriff and current State Representative Bruce Bryant sponsored the bill.

He said the state's relaxed laws on animal cruelty motivated him.

"Personally, I can't see anything that would be negative about it because anybody that loves animals will want to do what's right for the animals. When I started crying about it, somebody else had already filed a bill and I said 'Well, just put me on it,'" Bryant said.

The Charleston Animal Society CEO Joe Elmore said pet safety laws need to be updated to keep animals safe.

"If it's on the first offense, then sure, five years. If it's a second offense, then no animal for the lifetime," Elmore said.

The bill was introduced earlier this month and is currently in a committee.

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