Lexington County finalizes tightened fireworks, animal control restrictions

Posted 11/2/23

Lexington County recently tightened restrictions in two areas that have been coming for a while now.

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Lexington County finalizes tightened fireworks, animal control restrictions


Lexington County recently tightened restrictions in two areas that have been coming for a while now.

At its Oct. 24 meeting, County Council gave final reading approval to an ordinance that puts new restrictions on fireworks in unincorporated areas of the county. The final version is less restrictive than what was originally proposed.

Council also gave final reading to an updated ordinance on animal control regulations that targets “backyard breeders.”

The new fireworks ordinance bans fireworks in the unincorporated areas of the county from 9 p.m. to 9 a.m. except on two holidays, Fourth of July and New Year’s. On July 4 they can continue to 11 p.m., and on Jan. 1 until 12:30 a.m.

Violators would face a $150 fine.

The ordinance is less restrictive than an earlier proposal that would have banned fireworks completely except on New Year’s, Christmas, Memorial Day and Fourth of July.

At a public hearing, supporters of strict regulations said the potential of igniting fires in some of the rural areas of the county raised concerns about how quickly emergency personnel would be able to respond to a spreading fire, or to someone suffering injuries. Veterans suffering from PTSD can also have adverse reactions to loud fireworks. Concerns were also expressed about pets that often have negative reactions to the loud sounds.

The council received some negative feedback on those restrictions from businesses that rely on the sale of fireworks. There was also some backlash because the ordinance did not include foreign holiday celebrations, such as The Chinese New Year and the Hindu holiday, Diwali.

The new animal control ordinance imposes restrictions on who is allowed to breed, and limits the number of kittens and puppies that are brought into the shelter.

In an interview with the Chronicle, Council Vice Chair Darrell Hudson said it’s not just a problem in Lexington County, but in towns throughout South Carolina and elsewhere.

“It’s a nationwide problem,” he said.

Officials say backyard breeders “seeking quick money” are part of the problem because they are not breeding in accordance with health conditions, temperament and breed standards.

The ordinance also addresses sterilization and microchipping regulations.

Currently, pets are required to wear a collar identification tag, but the new ordinance would require dogs to have a microchip registered with the owner’s name and address. Officials said microchipping will not only help identify a pet, but help shelter staff and local veterinarian offices contact the owner before the pet has to come into the shelter. The shelter provides microchips to the public at a cost of $10. 

The new animal control requirements come with the Lexington County Animal Shelter sharply feeling the strain of overpopulation, with animal control officials telling the Chronicle that 505 animals entered the system in July, far out-stripping the shelter’s “reasonable” capacity of about 128.


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