A news analysis by Andy Brack, editor and publisher | Pets and state legislators have more in common than the occasional pest. Both are caught in the middle of an escalating spat between for-profit and nonprofit animal caregivers. On one side are the state’s veterinarians, who see animal shelters as an unregulated, growing industry where animals sometimes aren’t treated appropriately. They want shelters to be regulated.
“The shelter industry is huge,” said Dr. Patricia Hill, a Greenville veterinarian who is immediate past president of the S.C. Association of Veterinarians. “It is a business entity that has grown untethered in accountability and responsibility.” Later she added, “Shelters need to operate at the same standards that veterinarians have.”
But hold on says Joe Elmore, CEO of the Charleston Animal Society, a shelter in the Lowcountry. Who, he asks, do you think provides and supervises care at shelters? Veterinarians, who have to get the same training and have the same oversight as for-profit veterinarians.