An advisory panel is recommending that the cap on dogs per household in Columbia be increased from two to three, city animal services superintendent Marli Drum said Tuesday.
The proposal was included in her update to City Council members on the progress the shelter has made in significantly reducing the number of pets euthanized.
That change should encourage more adoptions, Drum said. “It would open homes to more dogs,” she said.
The raise suggested is less than the five-dog limit that some groups favor.
“It’s less than some people want,” Councilwoman Tameika Issac Devine said. “But (going to) five is a big jump.”
The increase is part of a package being developed to achieve a virtual no-kill status at the city shelter for healthy animals not dangerous to people and other pets. Richland County also uses the shelter.
Since July 1, there have been 650 adoptions of cats and dogs from the shelter, an increase of 44 percent over the same period a year ago, Drum reported.
In addition, 100 feral cats who are cared for by homeowners were picked up and spayed, then returned to those neighborhoods, she said.
The shelter also is looking at staying open longer daily to make it easier for would-be owners to drop in and find the right pet, Drum said.
All of the gains are signs that City Hall is on its way to reducing the number of unwanted animals, Devine said.
“It shows we’re making progress,” she said. “It’s slow but steady.”
Some suggested changes in animal control standards are unlikely to be adopted, though, Devine said.
Those include suggestions to require neutering and spaying breeds of dogs regarded as aggressive if taken to the shelter and banning dogs from being tethered in yards, she said.
Tim Flach: 803-771-8483