FAQ: Animal-Related

FAQ: Animal Related

1. I saw a dog/cat on the side of the road, what should I do?

If the animal is dead and is blocking:

  • a STATE or COUNTY ROAD, contact the SC Department of Transportation at (843) 524-7255 or (855) 467-2368
  • Private property, call a private contractor that removes dead animals

If the animal is alive, contact the Beaufort County Animal Services at (843) 255-5010 or Animal Control via 911.

2. My mother went into a nursing home and there is no one to care for her cat(s) or dog(s). Can you help me?

cat_white_brown150Due to overcrowding and limited foster families, we are unable to take owner surrendered pets. However, we can offer you placement assistance. If you wish to have your pet considered for placement assistance, you must be willing to foster the dog/cat(s) and become a HAL foster family. The program includes things like — advertising the cat/dog on our Web site and Facebook page. You would be responsible for taking digital pictures of the animals and providing a description of their personalities.

If you are unwilling or unable to help us help you get the cat/dog adopted, you can try the Hilton Head Humane Association. There number is (843) 681-8686. You can also try other local and breed-specific rescue organizations.

If you live in Beaufort County, you can bring the cat/dog to the Beaufort County Animal Services  located in Okatie.   There phone number is (843) 255-5010.

3. What kinds of low cost programs are available to keep my pet healthy?

HAL works with local vets and other animal organizations to sponsor spay/neuter programs to help the animals of Beaufort County. Our ability to fund programs is dependent on donations, volunteers and on availability of local vets.

In addition, Hilton Head Humane Association, Palmetto Animal league’s community clinicand Beaufort County Animal Services all have various programs.  If money is an issue, call them to see what they can do for you and your pet.   Lowcountry Pet Vaccine Clinic provides low cost vaccines in the community.  Check web site for dates and times.

Note: State law requires that all animals over four months of age must have a current rabies vaccination.

4. Where can I find information about municipal by-laws such as “barking dogs” and dog licenses?

We have links to Federal, State, and local laws and ordinances on our web site, select “Law and Government Affairs.”  For the most up to date information, refer to the Beaufort County ordinances (e.g., licensing), on the County Web site, Chapter 14 – Animals.

5. What should I do about a possible case of abuse or neglect or hoarding?

If you witness animal abuse or neglect, or hoarding, please contact Beaufort County Animal Control at (843) 255-5010 immediately. This agency has the jurisdiction and capability to investigate and resolve these situations. They rely on concerned citizens to be their eyes and ears in the community and to report animal suffering. It always helps if you can document the situation (e.g., log dates, times and events). In addition, without endangering yourself and without trespassing, take digital photographs of the situation to show animal control officers.
For more information regarding animal abuse and neglect, or if your pet has been abused or killed, visit HSUS Abuse and Neglect

6. Where can I find information about designated off-leash dog parks in Beaufort County?

There are three public dog parks in Beaufort County:

  • Hilton Head Island
  • Burton Wells Park in Beaufort
  • Hunting Island — Note: Although dogs are allowed on the beach, they must be kept on a leash not longer than 6 feet.

Many private developments have have dog parks for their residents. There are also dog friendly restaurants in Beaufort County.

7. My pet is missing what should I do?

Take action immediately! Check out our Missing Pets page for general tips and flyer templates.

If you find your pet, don’t forget to contact the various shelters/vets, remove your posted signs, and thank anyone that has helped you.

8. There’s an injured wild animal or or abandoned wild baby animal in my neighborhood (or a wild animal in my house). Whom do I call?

If the animal is injured, DO NOT TOUCH IT. Unfortunately, there is no one in Beaufort County doing wildlife rehabilitation. However, there are some wild life rehabilitators in South Carolina.   A small non-profit is Singing Mouse Wildlife Rescue and Rehab. They are located in Bluffton and have ducks, horses, deer, rabbits, squirrels, a tortoise, and so much more.

If it is a raptor, try contacting the SC Center for Birds of Prey.

In South Carolina, control of nuisance wildlife and animal damage is the responsibility of the individual property owners. The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR) provides the public with information to obtain assistance with nuisance wildlife problems. These individuals and companies are in the business of wildlife control and they charge a fee for their services. Beaufort County Animal Control Officers can not go inside your home or under your home because of potential liability issues. There are some businesses doing wild life removal.

The National Wildlife Foundation says – let nature takes it course:

9. I’m in the MILITARY and am being deployed. I have no one to care for my pets. What are my options?

Military personnel should contact Dogs on Deployment as soon as possible after receiving their orders. They have a Global network of Individual Foster Homes that will house, nurture and care for dogs, cats, birds and other pets for the Military.

Note: This is not permanent placement! It is to give temporary nurture, care and housing while you are overseas.

10. I need to give up my pet. What should I do?

Many pet-related problems can be frustrating, and you may feel that relinquishing your pet is the only solution. Before you take that drastic step, make certain that you are informed and have done everything you can to make the relationship work. Pets deserve a forever home.

There are many resources available to assist you. First consult your vet to make sure there are no physical problems. If your reason for giving up your pet is behavioral, we urge you to visit HSUS’s https://www.humanesociety.org/pets-for-life and read the behavior tip sheets.  If you are moving and choosing a rental property that does not take pets, choose a different property.

Read everything you can including HSUS’s “Guidelines for Finding a Responsible Home for a Pet.” Even if you really can’t keep him anymore, your pet still depends on you to do what’s best for his/her future.

11. I’d like to complain about a puppy mill. What should I do?

It always helps if you can document the situation (e.g., log dates, times and events — whether food and water is provided, weather conditions, housing). In addition, without endangering yourself and without trespassing, take digital photographs of the situation to show animal control officers. Once you’ve documented neglect, contact any or all of the following local agencies to advise them of the facts.

You can also contact the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), which oversees breeders, at (301) 504-6212.

If you would like to become more informed about puppy mills and help effect serious change in animal welfare legislation, both on a state and national level, you can become more informed as well as an advocate such as a member of the ASPCA’s Legislative Action Team.

12. I have been bitten by an dog/cat/animal. What should I do?

Wash the wound with soap and water. Apply pressure with soft cloth to stop bleeding and elevate it above your heart and call South Carolina DHEC on 888.847.0902.  You may need a tetanus shot.  Watch for infection.

13. My pet is dying. I don’t want him to suffer and I can’t afford much. What can I do?

Make your pet a bucket list and keep them as happy and comfortable as you can for as long as you can. I am sure you have lots of memories together. Create a few more before she goes.

When the time comes where your pet has no quality of life, call your veterinarian and request a price for “euthanasia only.”   They will need to know how much your pet weighs. Bring your own bag and bury him in your yard. If you don’t own your home. Find a relative/friend who owns property who can help.

If you have money for cremation, Good Shepard Pet Services in Ridgeland or Pet Rest Cemetery in Goose Creek are the closest.



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