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      Humane society wants spay and neuter ordinance

      The Darlington Humane Society is asking Darlington County Council members to adopt an ordinance that would require dog and cat owners to spay and neuter their pets.

      The Humane Society runs the animal shelter for the county and say something has to be done to control the growing animal population.

      "So we really need to do the logical thing. We need to stop the birth of unwanted and stray animals and we need to be able to do that through an ordinance that would require people to do it," said Kathy McDonald, Darlington County Humane Society.

      This year, the shelter has taken in more than 4,300 stray animals, compared to 1,200 in 1998.

      The Humane Society put down about 38% of the animals they took in 2011.

      "This is terrible. We actually put down more puppies and kittens this year than cats and dogs because we don't have homes for rescues and fosters that we can send them to," McDonald added.

      The group believes a spay and neuter ordinance would relieve overcrowding, save money, and reduce the number of animals they euthanize.

      "I think sometimes you just need a little nudge from a government source to do the right thing by your animals."

      The shelter is able to spay and neuter every animal they take in through grants, donations and discounts from area veterinarians.

      The group wants Darlington County Council to consider adopting a spay and neuter ordinance that would require dog and cat owners to get a license from the county verifying their pet has been spayed or neutered.

      Permits would be offered for kennels and individual breeders.

      Details of registration fees haven't been discussed just yet.

      It's expected council will discuss this issue again at their January meeting.