On April 22, 2021 a hearing was held for Jayce's Law, a proposed statewide pit bull law in South Carolina. Powerful testimony was given by his mother and the Charleston Animal Society.
Columbia, SC - On Thursday, "Jayce’s Law," H. 4094, sponsored by Rep. Huggins, had a hearing in the Special Laws Subcommittee of the House Judiciary Committee. It was a fantastic hearing with powerful testimony by Joe Elmore, president and CEO of the Charleston Animal Society, Jayce's mother, Victoria LaBar, Tallulah McGee, Director of Beaufort County Animal Services and Barbara Nelson, President of the SPCA Albrecht Center for Animal Welfare in Aiken County.
The hearing and this bill, the "fertile pit bull" bill, are both highly unusual events. Today, we saw a passionate Elmore, speaking on behalf of state animal sheltering organizations that support a breed-specific law. The bill would not affect any person whose pit bull is sterilized and microchipped -- the bill is not mandatory. Jayce's Law would charge a $25 fee to maintain a fertile pit bull that is not microchipped. For identification purposes, the microchip component is critical.
Emore testified about multiple fatal pit bull attacks, the death of Jayce in January and Ethel Horton, who was killed in Lee County in 2010. "This affects men, women, children, black, white, elderly. It affects all of us South Carolinians. It affects our families," he said. "The most pressing issue for animal shelters, in costing millions of dollars each year, taxpayer dollars and donor dollars, is the disproportionately large number of pit bull-type dogs" that are not altered.
Elmore brought compelling state animal shelter data to the table during his testimony. (Note also, this 2021 peer-reviewed study where Charleston Animal Society provided the animal data: Characterizing unsuccessful animal adoptions: age and breed predict the likelihood of return, reasons for return and post-return outcomes). Elmore also expressed how much support the bill has among South Carolina shelters, "those of us working on the front lines" in this state, he said.
These are the facts. These are South Carolina facts. This is South Carolina data. Pit bull-type dogs are the most prevalent dogs entering South Carolina shelters ... Right now at our shelter in Charleston County, we have 98 dogs in our care, 38 of those are pit bull-types of dogs, 42%. That is not uncommon...
Number two, pit bull-type dogs are disproportionately euthanized due to the overwhelming numbers of them ... [local shelter data] indicated that nearly half of the types of dogs put down were pit bull-types of dogs.
Pit bull-type dogs are the exclusive dog of choice for dogfighting.
Pit bull-types of dogs cause more severe injuries to South Carolinians than any other dog. This is from our DHEC, our South Carolina DHEC. In 2019, 34% -- 2,533 of the 7,455 identified breeds of dogs committing bites, were from pit bull-types of dogs...1
This legislation addresses four problems. Incentivizing spay/neuter. Relieving significant burdens on animal shelters. Reducing the number of dogs available to dogfighting. Mitigating the amount of harm caused to humans by fertile pit bull types of dogs and raising awareness about the plight of these dogs…
For the sake of our sons of South Carolina. For the sake of our grandmothers of South Carolina, let us not go another ten years without action." - Joe Elmore
As Elmore states in his testimony, the only groups that oppose the bill are out-of-state -- the same groups we deal with every year when fighting state preemption bills that would prohibit local pit bull ordinances. The Big Three: American Kennel Club (AKC) and Animal Farm Foundation, both New York-based and Best Friends Animal Society, Utah-based. Notably, it was brought up several times during testimony that this national kennel club does not even recognize the pit bull breed.
Elmore also stated the following, of which we may hear about more down the road: "The Animal Farm Foundation is suspended in South Carolina. Today, it is suspended by our Secretary of Commerce. I see no standing for these three organizations," he said. "The AKC does not even recognize pit bulls as a breed of dog, doesn't run animal shelters, neither does the Animal Farm Foundation." He added about BFAS, "I couldn't even tell you what states surround Utah."
"I couldn't even tell you what states surround Utah. I don't think most South Carolinians could. I don't think most South Carolinians care."
Elmore's testimony and emphasis on "our DHEC" and "our South Carolina DHEC" and "our sons of South Carolina" and "our grandmothers of South Carolina" shows just how much interference the Big Three had on the failed attempt at a similar bill in 2019 -- that bill had a $500 registration fee. Despite the exceptionally modest $25 fee, the Big Three are still hard at work to kill Jayce's Law. The Big Three's "hatred" of breed-specific laws outweighs the well-being of pit bulls.
Victoria's livestream to Facebook after her son's death was breathtaking. Her testimony today was breathtaking as well. She is only 23-years old, and she is as brave as they come. She tells her story of the stray pit bull that ended up on her property that was not fixed. She contacted animal control, but the pit bull was not microchipped. "The bottom line is, a phone call could have saved my son's life. If whoever owned that dog had just called and reported him missing," she said.
"In less than three seconds, my life changed. Eight days the dog was with us. He showed no signs of anything. Until he just walked up to my son and ripped out his throat," she said. "If these laws had been in effect, just maybe my son would be alive today. Nothing will bring my son back. My son and a dog died that day, and neither one had to happen ... I had found [the dog] a home. The day the man was supposed to come get him" is the day the dog killed my son, she said.
"We still have no idea who the dog belongs too. We can find no vet records for his rabies vaccines. He had no microchip. He was not fixed."
McGee & Nelson
McGee testified about the mandatory pit bull sterilization ordinance her county passed in 2015 and the success of this ordinance. This success was also possible because the Hilton Head Humane Society provided free pit bull spaying and neutering services. Like San Francisco, which passed the first mandatory pit bull sterilization ordinance in the country in 2005, McGee's shelter used a Fix-It-or-Ticket campaign (administrative tickets) to support the enforcement of the ordinance.
McGee testified that higher penalties should come to those creating the problem. The time and effort required to collect a $25 fee would not be cost effective, she said, but the bill is a step in the right direction. We hope in the future, "we need to be aggressive and hope that administrative tickets would be in enforcement throughout the state. Because the revenue to pay for free sterilization would be from the people who are the problem, not the taxpayers," McGee testified.
Like Elmore, Nelson expressed that her SPCA is "local and on the ground" and is not associated to the New York-based ASPCA. She also reiterated that pit bulls have "historically been bred to have extremely strong jaws and do not let go of their victim. They are the breed of choice for drug dealers, and others who post them as alarms in protection against law enforcement. They have found their way into the general population of dogs, and that is extremely unfortunate." she said.
"They are the most abused. They are the hardest to adopt and the most euthanized. They are by far the largest percentage of dogs in shelters."
Nelson also testified about the success of her registration fee ordinance, despite the AKC's opposition. "The AKC, a national organization that does not even recognize the breed of pit bulls, opposed that ordinance," she said. The Aiken ordinance charges $100 to register a fertile dog; it's a lifetime fee. "It worked extremely well," she said. "Registration ordinances for fertile dogs work." In 15 years, she has seen a two-thirds reduction of unaltered dogs brought into her shelter.
"We had no push back from the citizens," she said. "The only push back we had was from AKC. They told me it wouldn't work. They told city council it wouldn't work. Fortunately, city council was progressive enough. They passed the ordinance. You can see that it worked," she said. "Understand that these dogs have the propensity to turn like that if they are fertile -- they have a tendency to be aggressive. I will be happy to answer any of your questions," she said.
The Big Three oppose all breed-specific policies and laws and are the top forces working in our country to 1.) Repeal local pit bull ordinances 2.) Pass state preemption laws barring local governments from enacting and enforcing pit bull laws 3.) Pass laws that prohibit property insurance carriers from using breed-specific policies (the breed "blacklist") and 4.) Pass laws that prohibit landlords and public housing authorities (Section 8) from using breed-specific policies.
Elmore and his South Carolina animal welfare colleagues have done the unthinkable in the eyes of the Big Three. They have fragmented the once all-powerful alliance of animal welfare groups opposing breed-specific laws. Elmore and his colleagues did so because they want to create a safer community for people and to provide a humane solution to the excessive over-breeding of pit bulls. They have mounted a strong force against the Big Three and we wish them success!
As Elmore implied, if the state had taken these steps -- a bill like Jayce's Law -- ten years ago, shelters in South Carolina would not be experiencing the safety and humane crisis of pit bulls disproportionately biting, occupying shelter space and being euthanized. The Big Three out-of-staters have no care in the world about shelters in South Carolina brimming with unwanted pit bulls. They have no care in the world for the sons or grandmothers of South Carolina either.
04/12/21: South Carolina 'Fertile Pit Bull' Bill has Support from Animal Shelters Across the State
02/02/21: Estimated U.S. Cities, Counties, States and Military Housing with Breed-Specific Laws
01/22/21: 2021 Dog Bite Fatality: Mother Live Streams After Pit Bull Killed Son in South Carolina
People who are in favor of allowing predictably and/or unpredictably aggressive canine breeds to have unfettered ability to continue to maim hundreds of thousands of victims every short period of time: These are evil people. How to tell? By their evil works. The animals that they make mega bucks off of are worse than wild animals. They are worse than wild animals. Any attempt to reduce the ghoulish horror of aggressive canine attack is met with the anti-good actions of the very powerful, mega dollar funded Dangerous Breed Industry (DBI). When will the victims of the evil-based DBI take to the streets and demand reasonable legislation that will reduce the huge amount of unspeakable horror that strikes on our streets, in our homes and everywhere except inside church buildings? The only places that we are sometimes semi-safe in is in our own closed bathrooms/bedrooms, in our own automobiles and in a church building. Anyone who steps out of their bedroom/bathroom to open their front door is opening the door to unreasonably elevated risk of grave threat of a dangerous breed canine suddenly destroying their life. Anyone who steps out of their bedroom/bathroom into that residence where a dangerous breed canine is present is opening the door to the unreasonably elevated risk of grave threat of a dangerous breed canine suddenly destroying their life. All of this happens hundreds of thousands of times in the USA in what time period? Every few months? What can change as long as our evil society worships the all powerful dangerous Dog instead of the all powerful provident Go(o)d?
I enjoyed hearing the South Carolina man brush off AKC, AFF and BFAS as irrelevant and shouldn’t get to speak (and they didn’t speak).
Quoting from the post:
The Big Three: American Kennel Club (AKC) and Animal Farm Foundation, both New York-based and Best Friends Animal Society, Utah-based.
To which I say:
I don’t know if the Animal Farm Foundation or the AKC take donations, but I do know that Best Friends does. They used to pummel my mother with fundraising mail. Before she died, I put a stop to that garbage.
If anyone reading this still donates to Best Friends, stop. Give to DBO instead. There’s a “donate” button on every page of this site.
$25 is not a deterrent. It’s a gift.
There’s no statistical evidence that a neutered dog is not as dangerous as an intact dog. Several Nordic countries do not allow spay/neuter–they *do* however hold owners accountable for their dogs’ behaviours including breeding.
There’s zero proof that pitbulls other than those specifically bred and used for fighting dogs, are any more abused than any other breed.
As long as the money for these pitbull cultists keeps rocketing down the train there will never be an end to this.
The excuses need to end.
I don’t know… I was confused by all of the testimony since it was all over the place. The two women who went last made the most sense. Overall, it seemed like there were too many agendas that I had to pull teeth to connect them to a $25 fee. The first guy’s testimony was the most ridiculous, pulling out photos of his pit bull and talking about it being a majestic breed. As much as I can’t stand these dogs, if I were a representative of the people I would vote against this because it just doesn’t make sense and it is not enforcable.
It’s next to impossible to get any type of Breed Specific Legislation passed in this political climate. If this bill passes, it will be a huge VICTORY! We can build on the foundation of this bill. Pit bull breeding is costing taxpayers money for the surrendered pit bulls at shelters. SC should be able to recoup the cost by having fees for pit bull breeders. SC shelters are tired of dealing with the overpopulation of high-liability pit bulls and want to solve the problem by curtailing pit bull breeding. I applauded South Carolina for wanting to solve the problem by curtailing pit bull breeding. South Carolina’s bill sets a precedent for other states to follow.
I love Joe Elmore’s testimony. Yes, he had a pit bull as a pet. He was trying to prove that he does not hate pit bulls. This was a strategy to try to get this bill passed. He really stuck it to the big lobby outsiders: Best Friends Animal Society, Animal Farm Foundation and American Kennel Club. Then he drove it home by using all SC stats.
When we make selling pitbulls illegal (which it is in some BSL legislation) and subject to huge fines (followed by jail terms) this will end. Take away the profit motive and the whole pitbull house of cards, collapses.
It’s the simplest solution to enforce, as well.
Will probably never happen but until we treat pitbulls like the dangerous weapons they are and allow people to profit from their sale, I can’t see this problem going away any time soon because we are far past the deliberation of niceties.
Where I live, pitbull spay and neuter is free for anyone who does it through the various shelters. This has not provided any incentive for people to have them in the inner city to have them sterilized. Of course, all the ones living in the suburbs and white-collar homes are fixed since most of them are purchased at the shelters.
I fail to see how a $25 fee for fertile pit bulls will be enforced, especially considering that there is a carved-out exception for “breeders.” There is money to be made off of breeding a bitch every heat cycle and trust me, these “breeders” know how to get 3 heats per year. I am thinking about the South Carolinian sister of a man I dated over 20 years ago. She was breeding pits for pulling and appearance/beefiness competitions. When I met her on my one and only visit to her trailer in the middle of nowhere SC her 2-year-old bitch was weaning her 4th litter. Does anyone actually believe a person like this will stop breeding pits?
Dogs can easily raise two litters per year. In that there must be a minimum of four months between litters, a bitch cannot possibly produce an average of three litters per year every year. It’s not uncommon for bitches to cycle at five month intervals. Six months is more the average, and some don’t cycle nearly that often.
I know of a GSD bitch delivering three litters per year for several years. She once was rebred while nursing a ten week old puppy and had another litter. This actually proved what we know. Bitches require at least four months for the uterus to completely return to normal. A very few could recycle at just under four month intervals. The bitch I mentioned above raised one puppy per litter for a total of three puppies per year. This could easily have led to a pyometra.
Veterinarians don’t have safe effective medications to cause dogs to cycle more frequently. How could breeders have anything any better?
Suppose the two year old bitch had whelped four litters. She whelped a litter at eight months, one at twelve months, a third at sixteen months, and a fourth at twenty months.
Then a fifth at 24 months.
However, this kind of extremely fast cycling is incredibly unlikely. Pit bull bitches are known to be escape artists and usually are bred every cycle.
Breeders usually make little money breeding dogs. Consider facilities, vaccinations, vet care, deworming, C-sections, advertising, cost of training and dog shows.
stud fees, cost of buying breeding dogs, cost of going to dog shows, cost of losing dogs, euthanasia, etc. I know I don’t know what other breeders’ expenses actually are, and I know no one has those figures unless they’re paying the bills or filing the taxes.
I believe the biggest income on pit bulls is from betting on fights
The dogs themselves are mostly worthless. If they don’t win, they are worthless.
If pit bulls were valuable, they wouldn’t be dumped in shelters.
Many litters of puppies die. That’s not profitable.
Many pitties are sold very cheaply, as they aren’t worth much.
Although I’m certainly against all pit bull breeding, pit bulls would stand a far better chance at life if they were expensive dogs.
Also, unless the rules have changed, one cannot show wolfdogs in AKC in any performance events. I think pit bulls are allowed.
Designer bullies such as toad lines are very expensive, generally require C-sections, and are very short lived.
If this is to be used as a “wedge legislation” to kick the door open to BSL legislation, I can see the use of it.
If this law is supposed to be a deterrent or “happy medium” solution I think it will be sadly underwhelming in terms of how much actual impact it will make in the next decade to stop the destructiveness caused by pitbulls.
As a retired veterinary technician of almost 20 , from personal and professional experience with MANY UNALTERED BREEDS, I can tell you that altering a dog does little to nothing as far as temperament.
The BREED certainly counts for it.
We have euthanized many “ altered “ PITBULLS for idiopathic aggression.
I wish all pit bulls would be euthanized.
I just learned all this a few days ago. I believed all the lies.. I had friends with pits, while I wasn’t always comfortable around them, I believed the propaganda and ignored my gut feeling. I was a young teen (12-13) at the time. I remember the dogs getting in a fight once. I slept over at that house on a few occasions. I’m so glad I was never hurt, statistically it would not have been unlikely.
Now I’m 23 with a baby, almost 1, and live in a place with a high dog, and specifically pit, population. I’m so glad I learned all of this before it was too late.
I have defended the dogs online before, never anything as awful as commenting to people who had been victimized, but just in general when I heard popular Podcasters say something against the breed(s).. like clockwork I hit every propaganda point without even knowing:
•It’s not the dog, it’s the owner
•Don’t blame all for the actions of a few
•Buy from responsible breeders and lineage
•Get them trained professionally..
All of it…
I never knew.. I never knew it was like this.. I heard “oh they bite more”
I thought “so what, my husband was bit in the face by a dog as a kid, it just snapped at him and split his lip, never had any lasting trauma and barely has a scar”
I thought “I’ve seen dog bites, it’s not that bad”
We ought to be particular with our language, what these dogs do.. this isn’t a bite. I’ve SEEN dog bites, this is something different.
I understand that we can’t just euthanize them all, I’ve found myself wondering why we can’t deteeth them all, the damage would be less, and they would get to eat soft food every day of their life.
I have a dog, a miniature pinscher mix, she loves soft food, it’s a treat, we buy it to spoil her. The pits would be spoiled their whole life and their potential damage could be greatly reduced. But no pit lover would go for this, I know it in my gut.
So I find myself wondering why:
•Why are people intent on keeping dogs that cause so much damage?
•Why do people keep their murderous mutts even after they’ve maimed or even killed a family memeber?
•Why do organizations want to continuously and repeatedly put known vicious dogs back into innocent and ignorant peoples’ homes?
Just why?? Why can people look at all the same information I have over the past few days and still say “oh it’s just a freak accident,” “don’t blame the breed blame the deed,” and the one that irks me the most “well, all dogs bite”???
I’m sorry to all the victims, if any, that ever saw an anonynous comment I left who might have felt revictimized by my defending what was essentially the potential perpetration of their attack. I say this not to virtue signal, but because after seeing what these dogs do I am genuinely horrified at myself for ever having defended them. I am horrified at the way people constantly revictimize victims for the sake of ideology. I am horrified by all of it; and I am horrified that I took part in it, no matter how small.
Colleen, thank you so SO much for making this website. You are brave, not in the way the word gets thrown around meaninglessly in our culture today, but actually, genuinely brave and strong spirited.
I admire your tenacity and I can’t express the depth of my appreciation towards you for running this site. For helping me be mentally prepared for the reality of the area I live in with my daughter. For bravely exposing the truth and horrors of these occurences despite what you’ve been through. And most of all for really standing up against BIG LOBBIES for the truth and well being of others.