Welcome to our website!
This site is designed to help you learn more about Richland County Animal Care and to give you information pertaining to the licensing and animal ordinances of Richland County.
Below are brief descriptions of what each section of the website contains; this should be a guide to help you find what you're looking for:
****New Community Cat Diversion Program****
Richland County Animal Care is proud to announce the start of it's Community Cat Diversion Program. Through the principles of Trap Neuter Return (TNR) implemented with the Community Cat Diversion Program, healthy free roaming cats that are impounded or turned into the animal care facility will be evaluated by a veterinarian before being spayed/neutered, vaccinated for rabies, ear tipped for identification, and then returned to the area from which it was removed. This program is intended to simultaneously reduce the number of unwanted cat births while also reducing the number of cats that have to be euthanized.
For your convenience, if you have a healthy free roaming cat that you would like to be considered for the program, please contact the Ombudsman Office at 803-929-6000 and request that a cat trap be delivered to your property.
Benefits of the Community Cat Diversion Program
- TNR Saves Kittens - Every time a feral cat has kittens, it significantly lowers the odds that other kittens in shelters will be adopted. With so many cats inundating the shelters, competition for homes is fierce. By spaying and neutering feral cats, we reduce the cat population, which in turn reduces the number of cats that are turned into shelters for adoption. Unfortunately, feral kittens are not adoptable without extensive training first, and if a kitten does not get adopted in a shelter, it is likely to be subject to euthanasia. TNR can help prevent this.
- TNR Prevents Overpopulation of Feral Cats - Getting feral and stray cats spayed or neutered prevents them from reproducing, helping to stop the rising cat overpopulation. This can help the quality of life for feral cats, help reduce the number of cats around your neighborhood, and reduce the spread of disease and the number of cat deaths.
- Feline Nuisance Behavior is Reduced by TNR- One major complaint about feral cats is their behavior. Many cats will participate in excessive fighting, whether it territorial, food-related, over a female cat, etc. This can lead to loud noise outside of your home. Another behavior that is common among feral cats is spraying their urine on structures around your property to mark their territory. Nuisance behavior becomes more rampant when feral cats breed in sheltered areas close to or in homes it can lead to property destruction. It is a fact that when cats are spayed or neutered, there is a decrease in this kind of behavior, making living among feral cats much more pleasant.
- TNR is the Most Cost-Effective and Humane Way to Control the Feral Cat Population- TNR can help save shelters, pounds and animal control agencies a significant amount of money. For one cat to participate in the TNR program, it is half the cost of euthanizing that same cat.
- TNR-Cats Provide Excellent Rodent Control - Cats are natural born hunters. Free-roaming cats find many of their meals in rodents that are living around your home. Having feral cats controlling the rodent population can prevent rodents from making their way into your home and getting into your food supply. Reducing the rodent population also protects your pets from coming into contact with them, and the diseases they carry.
- TNR-Cats Live Healthier, Happier Lives- There are many forms of cancer and diseases that can be associated with having an excessive amount of pregnancies in cats. When a female cat has too many pregnancies it promotes mammary, uterine, and other health problems. Spaying cats is a way to keep cats healthier and prevent premature deaths. Cats that are spayed also do not go into heat, which attracts fewer tomcats, resulting in less fighting and injury. Neutered and spayed cats also live longer, and remain in the same colony for a longer period of time.
Sec. 5-4. Community Cat Diversion Program
(a) Purpose. It is the intent of this section to create a Community Cat Diversion Program (“Program”) within Richland County in order to reduce cat overpopulation in an effective and humane way by using the Trap, Neuter, and Return (TNR) method.
(b) Scope. This section shall apply only to healthy free roaming and Community Cats. Well socialized, friendly, or abandoned house pets do not qualify for the Program as they depend on humans for survival.The Superintendent of Animal Services, or his/her designee, shall make the decision as to whether a cat qualifies for the Program.
(1) Any Community Cat either trapped or seized by an animal care officer or turned into the animal care facility by a citizen shall be:
i. Assessed by a veterinarian to determine the condition of health;
ii. Spayed or neutered, as needed;
iii. Vaccinated for rabies, feline viral rhinotracheitis, calicivirus, and panleukopenia; and
iv. Ear-tipped for identification.
(2) All cats entering the animal care facility shall be immediately assessed for Program qualification; those unqualified shall be processed in accordance with this chapter.
(3) Any Community Cat entering the Program shall be returned on the third day after spay/neutering or as soon as practicable thereafter to the area where it was trapped or seized. Any Community Cat which meets all the requirements in section (c)(1), above, that is trapped, seized, or brought to the animal care facility may be immediately returned to the same community, unless the property owner or caretaker requests the cat not be returned to that location.
(4) The county shall have no liability for cats in the Program.
(5) Community Cats are exempt from licensing and related fees.
Facts To Know - This section contains links to information about Richland County Animal Care, its function and purpose, location and contact information. There is also a link to Important Information on rabies and pet care.
Frequently Asked Questions - This section provides answers to frequently asked questions about licenses, ordinances, fees and other general questions pertaining to animals in Richland County.
Licensing - This section provides information about licensing your animal, the cost for licensing and the fines for unlicensed animals.
View Animals - This section allows you to see all the animals currently in the care of Richland County and view detail information about them.
Links - This section contains links to various other animal protection and assistance sites, such as the Humane Society and The Animal Protection League.