What we found out: Laurens County, the City of Laurens and the City of Clinton all handle dogs differently.
In the City of Laurens, you are supposed to have control of your dog at all times. If dogs are running free, owners can be issued a ticket with a fine up to $500 or 30 days in jail.
If the owner of a dog cannot be located, the City of Laurens will pick up the dog and house them temporarily at the old police station on Laurens Street. If those dogs are not recovered, they are sent to Laurens County Animal Control.
Dogs in the City of Laurens must be registered with the city. The cost to register is $5 and the owner must have proof of shots.
According to Chief Sonny Ledda, if a dog is picked up by the city, an owner must show proof of shots, pay the fine and pay the registration fee to get the dog back. Citizens over the age of 65 do not have to pay a registration fee for their first dog.
The City of Clinton has much the same laws as the City of Laurens when it comes to dogs.
“We will talk to people to give them a chance to put the dog up,” said Clinton Director of Public Safety Robin Morse. If the dog is not put up, a citation can be issued.
The city of Clinton will also pick up dogs if they cannot find the owner. Dogs are taken to a local vet for up to two weeks at a cost of $70 per dog. If a dog is not claimed in that two week period, the dog is euthanized.
According to Morse, Laurens County Animal Control currently does not accept dogs from the City of Clinton.
In Laurens County, there is not a leash law. There is an ordinance that if a neighbor has problems keeping dogs off of their property, the county can intervene. The first time Animal Control goes to a location, they will talk to the owner of the dog. The second time that Animal Control has to go back to a location, a warrant is issued and the dog is taken to the county facility.
According to Animal Control Officer Robert Motte, Animal Control will keep a dog for an unspecified period of time depending on the demeanor of the dog and available space.
Since they opened in August, the Laurens County Humane Society has rescued 18 dogs from Animal Control.