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City considers $220,600 for its own animal control effort

After boy is mauled by 4 dogs in the city and his life is saved


Inspired by a tragedy, the City of Clinton might spend about a quarter million dollars hiring, equipping and training a local animal control officer and continuing a contract with the county for animal control services.

For the second consecutive meeting, Council last Monday recognized Natasha Mims and Police Officers Corey Barnes, Sgt. Adam Galloway and Lt. Anthony Harris for their Valentine’s Day morning rescue of 11-year-old A’Rhyan Anderson, who was attacked by four dogs while at a bus stop on North Livingston Street.

The boy was mauled; but now, after surgeries, he is walking with the assistance of a walker, and Robertson’s Ace Hardware with locations in Clinton, Laurens and Woodruff recently posted about a donation toward his continuing medical care and therapy. He has received a signed helmet from the Clinton High School football team.

A successful GoFundMe account has contributed to the treatment costs and family needs.

In addition to receiving a Key to the City, Mims was surprised by State Rep. Doug Gilliam with a House resolution saluting her bravery signed by the Speaker of the House. Gilliam represents Clinton and Union in the State House of Representatives.

But just before the presentations, in public comments, a citizen told the council, “there is no need for me, as a 60+ year old woman, I should not have to watch as I leave my gate (because of roaming dogs). I plead with you all to enforce the dog ordinance.”

Two city ordinances, Section 10-70 and Section 10-72, govern the free-roaming of animals. The City has not announced any arrests or tickets for the owner(s) of the dogs that attacked the boy, also known as Red. The City has announced that at least some of the animals have been killed.

So, after the response to the attack on Red, and appreciation to the people who saved his life, the Council is left with the question, What Now?

City Manager Tom Brooks presented a recommendation for a $220,600 response to animal control needs in Clinton. He formed the response after meetings with the Laurens County Sheriff’s Office and County Council Chairman Brown Patterson.

The recommendation includes the continued spending of $30,000/annual to the LCSO in support of countywide animal control. They are “stretched thin” by the county’s large territory, Brooks said.

He also toured the LCSC Animal Control Center, near the Airport on Torrington Road, between Clinton and Laurens.

This is the breakdown for Brooks’ proposal, which cannot be acted on until a budget amendment is drafted:

New truck, $50,000

Animal control bed, $30,000

Enclosed kennels, $20,000

Concrete floor, $8,000

Septic, electric, climate control, $15,000

Full-time employee, $60,000 plus fringe

Training, $2,000

Equipment, $2,000

Vaccinations (average), $3,600

County Contract, $30,000.

Brooks emphasized that LCSO and the County have increased animal control spending from 2018 to 2024 from $274,000 to over $500,000/annual.

Council Member Anita Williams questioned why the city would need a new truck - “we need to be moving on this, asap.”

Brooks said a van would be ideal, so captured dogs are not locked in a hot-box in a truck bed, in the dead of summer. It would be a van with kennels inside, he said, adding “we do not have a van we can use right now.”

Even with that in mind, Brooks said of an officer, “We need somebody here.”

“So what is our plan?” Williams asked.

“$30,000 a year (to LCSO), we have a plan; we contract with the county. It’s not that they don’t do a great job. They are stretched thin.”