Easley gives first OK to dog limit

By Ben Robinson
Staff Reporter

EASLEY — Residents who accuse a neighbor or running a puppy mill returned to Easley City Council Monday night and were rewarded with the passing of the first reading of an ordinance putting limitations on dog owners in city limits.
James Carpenter and his wife, Jackie, returned for their fourth meeting to complain about the situation.
Carpenter said he did not relish the thought of addressing city council.
“But we’re here to defend our properties, the place where we live,” Carpenter said. Carpenter said he and his wife had been invited to Greenville Tech in September for a meeting of the state subcommittee on the welfare of animals.
“Some have called us vindictive,” Carpenter said. “We’re not vindictive. Protective? Yes, but not vindictive.” Carpenter said based on what he knew, there was a puppy mill active at his neighbor’s home. “We just try to stick to the truth,” Carpenter said.
Carpenter’s wife said she and her husband want to prevent any other person from having to go through “what we’ve gone through the past seven months.”
Linda Hughes said she is a neighbor of the Carpenters. She and the Carpenters have clashed over her animals and those of a friend who was staying with them.
“I spend a lot of money on my animals,” Hughes said. “And if you make me get rid of them, who’s going to compensate me for all that?”

Christina Turner said she has visited the home in question several times and reported Hughes was “a loving woman.”

“To have people do her like this is not right,” Turner said. “Everything those animals need, they get.”
Lindsay Lindstrom has been living in Hughes’ because of financial problems. She said she spent plenty of time simply caring for her pets. “I love every one of those dogs,” Lindstrom said.


Hughes and Lindstrom told council members they have around 20 dogs each, although Lindstrom said she and her dogs wlll be moved by Nov. 3.
Council passed an ordinance limiting homes to five dogs at a residence in the city with a 5-2 vote.
Councilman Brian Garrison cast one of the negative votes. Garrison said he thought five was too low a number, though he did not feel 40 would be low enough.
Councilman Terry Moore said according to his research there are 1.5 dogs per household.
Councilman Chris Mann asked how the committee came up with the number of five dogs to be allowed. Councilman Jim Robinson, who chaired the city committee that looked into the matter, said the number was arbitrary.
Nancy Connelly said she has lived in the neighborhood in question.
“We shouldn’t limit the entire citizens of Easley just because there are a couple of unhappy ones,” Connelly said. “There are too many people who love animals to confine them.”
Connelly said with the city’s proposed limitations, an owner could exceed that limit with just one litter of puppies.
The question of how long dog owners who are at the limit would have to get rid of the puppies could be decided next month at the second reading of the ordinance.
Councilman Chris Mann expressed concern about the city telling homeowners they cannot have too many of any certain item on their private property. Mann also voted against the ordinance.
Mayor Larry Bagwell said the issue has been capturing the city’s attention for too long.
“There’s going to be a winner or a loser,” Bagwell said. “I hope that whichever the case, people can accept it.”
In addition to the limit on the number of dogs, council voted 7-0 on a new ordinance concerning the disposal of dead animals on public or private property.
In other business, Michael Puckett addressed the situation of erosion in Clearcreek subdivision. Puckett was concerned that children trick or treating in the neighborhood may be in danger because of sinkholes in the neighborhood.
Bagwell said the city is aware of the problem and needs the signature of three property owners for the city to take action.
“This is not a dead issue,” city administrator Fox Simons said  “We do have a plan,” Garrison said.
But Puckett countered by saying, “I’m afraid the creek will take back over Clearcreek subdivision.”
“We are well aware,” Bagwell said. “I know they feel like we’re dragging our feet. Some things we just have to move slowly on.”
The city also voted to award a contract for $37,500 to S,H. Carter for the demolition of five substandard structures in the city.