AIKEN --- Kelli Mulvaney recently learned all about the city of Aiken's registration process when it comes to pets.
It was about a month ago when her miniature pinscher, Bear, got loose from her house the weekend she moved from Ohio. She said that 10 days later she found Bear at the Aiken SPCA and promptly had him registered.
"I just kind of found out about it the difficult way," she said.
Ms. Mulvaney said she also made sure to have Bear micro chipped, which reduced the city's registration fee and will make it easier to track Bear should he attempt another escape.
Capt. Wendell Hall, of Aiken Department of Public Safety, which oversees animal control issues in the city, said the registration process is designed to encourage residents to spay or neuter their pet and have them micro chipped.
The registration fee is $100 for pets that aren't spayed or neutered or micro chipped.
The fee can be reduced to $80 for pets with a tracking chip, $15 for those spayed or neutered and no cost to those both chipped and spayed or neutered, Capt. Hall said.
Aiken's process is different from Richmond and Columbia counties, which don't require pet registration.
Aiken also differs in that it limits the number of pets someone can have before they are considered to be running a kennel.
Capt. Hall said that once someone has six animals or more in the city of Aiken, they must get a kennel license, which costs $25 a year. He said that then allows the city to check on conditions.
After a couple cases of residents housing numerous pets in a confined area, Columbia County officials once looked into the possibility of a pet limit.
"It was discussed a few years ago, but no action was taken," Columbia County Emergency Services Director Pam Tucker said.
Augusta City Administrator Fred Russell said his county also hasn't opted for a pet limit or a pet registration process.
Reach Preston Sparks at (803) 648-1395, ext. 110 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the city of Aiken, residents can set up the registration process for their pet by calling the Aiken Department of Public Safety at (803) 642-7620.