SUMMERVILLE, S.C. (WCBD)- Dorchester County Council unanimously passed an ordinance prohibiting the sale of commercially-bred animals in unincorporated Dorchester County; specifically in stores.

Vice Chair David Chinnis is the driving force behind the ordinance. As a “hobby breeder” himself, he understands the necessity for regulations when breeding animals.

“I will tell you how simple it is to make certain that you’re breeding healthy dogs,” says Chinnis. “It comes down to the fact that nobody wants to take responsibility for breeding healthy animals.”

Chinnis has been fighting for regulations on commercial breeders with concerns that many are making profits off of sick animals. Local non-profit Dorchester Paws frequently receives animals in need of serious medical care.

David Chinnis

“Normally when we receive them they’re very sick and in bad condition, they normally have parvo or come with a lot of medical bills,” says Maddie Moore.

As of now, there are no pet stores in unincorporated Dorchester County. This ordinance seeks to set the precedent; prohibiting the sale of animals in any pet stores that want to open in the area.

“It’s definitely going to champion responsible pet ownership which is what Dorchester Paws is all about,” says Moore. “We want to encourage responsible breeding, knowing where you’re getting your animal from, making sure that they’re spayed and neutered and making sure that they’re getting their vaccinations.”

Maddie Moore

County Council read a number of emails in support of the ordinance as well as a few who are against it. Some of those not in favor argued that this ban only takes care of part of the problem.

“Quite frankly, the argument that this is only a small portion of the problem that we fix is probably true,” says Chinnis. “But it is a portion of the problem we’re fixing; and we’re tasked with fixing it.”

Dorchester Paws strongly suggests using The Humane Society’s resources to determine whether or not an establishment is considered a puppy mill. For more information, click here.