Under a city ordinance that was adopted last year City of Summerville residents are only allowed to have 3 dogs unless they apply for a kennel license.   

AM 1180 spoke with City Manager Russell Thompson about the city code.  Thompson said that the Summerville City Council adopted the ordinance August 29, 2011.  Thompson said, “The ordinance doesn’t preclude a person keeping more than 3 dogs, but if you choose to do so you would need to apply for a kennel license.”  Thompson said that the city would be looking at square footage of property, setbacks and drainage issues when a person applied for a kennel license. 

Thompson said residents should contact the city code enforcement office if they have more than 3 dogs and wish to keep them, saying the city would work with people to help them get the kennel license and meet the code requirements.  When asked  what the fee would be to have a kennel license, Thompson acknowledged that a fee has not been approved and no one has applied for the license.

Already some Summerville residents have been issued citations; Thompson said he didn’t know exactly how many. Currently the City of Summerville contracts with Chattooga County for animal control enforcement, but the city’s new ordinance requiring a kennel license for those keeping more than 3 dogs is being enforced by the city’s part-time building inspector Joey Norton.   

AM 1180 spoke with Aubrey “Smitty” Smith, of Chattooga County Animal Control about the Summerville ordinance.  Smith said that the City of Summerville has never provided him with any information about the code and apparently they were going to enforce the code themselves through their part-time building inspector. 

Smith was not even aware that the code had been adopted, but had been told that Norton had been writing citations.  Smith said that currently Chattooga County has no ordinance regarding the number of dogs a person can keep. 

City Manager Russell Thompson said that non-compliance with the kennel ordinance could result it a fine of up to $500 per animal, per day that a person is in violation.  He added that the city’s part-time building inspector would not issue citations without first trying to work with pet owners to resolve the situation.