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By Kara Vanderbeek
Updated on Jun 10, 2022
Reviewed by Melanie Reiff, Staff Editor.
In South Carolina, there is no statewide law governing how many dogs a person can own. But don’t rush to the shelter just yet—depending on where you reside, there may be specific rules regarding pet ownership you’ll need to follow.
Having one four-legged companion is great, so having two, three, or even five dogs must be wonderful, right? If you’re hoping to add a new pup to your pack and wondering just how many dogs is too many, we’ve got you covered.
To give you a breakdown of what the regulations are, Jerry, the super app for car and home insurance, has compiled this guide to legal dog ownership in South Carolina.
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Does South Carolina have laws limiting how many dogs you can own?
South Carolina does not have a law dictating how many dogs you can own. However, depending on where you reside, there may be specific regulations at the municipal level that govern dog ownership.
For example, in Richland County, there are no limits to how many animals you can own, but Goose Creek limits residents to a total of three dogs and/or cats per home.
In addition, there may be laws in your area regarding the ownership of “a lot” of dogs. In Goose Creek, for example, you can own up to six dogs and/or cats, but you must obtain a permit from the city for each additional animal and pay a $25.00 annual fee.
Are there any dog breeds outlawed in South Carolina?
While South Carolina does not ban any specific dog breeds, some areas do have restrictions in place for pit bulls.
In Beaufort County, pit bulls are required by law to be sterilized, while Dillon and Ware Shoals presume pit bulls as “dangerous”. In Travelers Rest, pit bulls, rottweilers, Doberman pinschers, and chows are declared as “vicious”.
So what exactly makes an animal “dangerous”? According to South Carolina Title 47, a “dangerous animal” refers to an animal of the canine or feline family, which:
- Has a propensity, tendency, or disposition to attack unprovoked, cause injury, or otherwise endanger the safety of others
- Makes an unprovoked attack that causes bodily injury in a place other than where the animal is confined or commits an attack, causing a person to reasonably believe the animal will attack a human being
- Is owned primarily for the purpose of fighting or is trained for fighting
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What are the leash laws in South Carolina?
While trying to keep a powerful, distracted, or excited dog on a leash can result in some serious shoulder pain, the responsibility falls on you to keep your dog leashed in the Palmetto State.
In South Carolina, it is against the law for owners (or other keepers) of a dog to:
- Allow a dog to run at large off a property owned, rented, or controlled by the owner
- Keep a vicious dog unless under restraint by a fence, chain, or other means
- Release an impounded or quarantined dog without proper authority
- Resist county or municipal shelter personnel engaging in the capture and impoundment or quarantine of a dog
When it comes to leash laws and dangerous dogs in South Carolina, you could face some serious legal repercussions if you neglect to follow them.
Penalties for breaking dog laws in South Carolina
As one might expect, any violation of the law is classified as a misdemeanor, and, upon conviction, South Carolina residents may be fined up to one hundred dollars.
Similar to dog laws, the legal consequences for violating such laws vary according to the municipality. In York County, for example, failure to keep your dog contained on your property, on a leash, or under your control when outside the property can result in a fine of up to $470, plus court costs and the cost of impoundment.
South Carolina’s state code places the liability of any dog attacks on the dog owner or the person keeping the dog for damages suffered by the person bitten or attacked. However, if the attack was provoked in any way or occurred in the capacity of the dog’s official duties as a law enforcement worker, this law does not apply.
If you are the owner of a “dangerous animal” that attacks and injures a human being, you may be fined $5000 and convicted of three years in prison for a first offense. For a subsequent offense, you may be convicted of a $10,000 fine and five-year imprisonment.
If a dog represents a continuing threat of serious harm, the animal may be ordered euthanized.
Where to find affordable insurance in South Carolina
While your dog may be an expert at alerting you of any activity outside of your home, it’s still a good idea to protect you and everyone inside it with the right homeowners insurance. With #1 rated super-app Jerry in your pocket, you can rest assured you’re not overpaying for your coverage.
Just download the app, enter your information, and you’ll be able to review quotes from dozens of top providers, like Nationwide, Progressive, and Travelers.
The average Jerry user saves over $800 per year on car insurance alone—and you can find substantial savings by bundling your home and auto policies together. With savings like that, you’ll be able to give your dog the care they need.
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