In an effort to address the stray cat population and reduce the euthanasia rate of cats in the County, Lexington County Council adopted an ordinance June 26 implementing the Community Cat Program in Lexington County.

The program, which will take effect October 1, was proposed by Pawmetto Lifeline and will allow for community cats to freely live throughout the County. Cats will no longer be subject to the restraint and confinement portion of the County Ordinance.

As part of the agreement, citizens who want to surrender their cat for adoption will now be referred to Pawmetto Lifeline for assistance.

Citizens, who want to trap free-roaming or feral cats near their homes, or in their neighborhoods, will also be referred to Pawmetto Lifeline to make arrangements for a trap. Cats that are trapped and brought to Pawmetto Lifeline will be spayed or neutered, vaccinated and ear-tipped, before it is returned to the location from where it was removed.

The County’s Animal Shelter will no longer accept owner-surrendered, trapped or stray cats. Furthermore, Animal Control officers will no longer respond to complaints regarding free-roaming or at-large cats, except for cases involving neglect, abuse, maltreatment or bites

Cats that are taken into the County’s possession during these cases (neglect, abuse, maltreatment or bites) will still be examined by the County’s staff veterinarian, before they are released back to the owner, placed for adoption, re-homed through rescue organizations or euthanized. The County will continue to help cats that come into our care find new homes and families.

The County will continue to provide Animal Control services to municipalities that adopt the County’s new Animal Control Ordinance. Municipalities who have not adopted the County’s Animal Control Ordinance will not receive animal control services, until the County’s ordinance has been adopted.

To learn more information about the Community Cat Program, call 803-465-9176, or email [email protected]

The County’s full animal ordinance and agreement with Pawmetto Lifeline can be viewed at lex-co.sc.gov.