County: BCSO acquires authority over Animal Control

A new budget year in Berkeley County ushered in changes for the Animal Control unit.

The county announced Monday it was the first day for Animal Control to transition out from under the Berkeley Animal Center and under the headship of the Berkeley County Sheriff’s Office. Animal Control also received a new contact number.

County Council approved the change as part of the fiscal year 2019-20 budget. The governing body passed the budget on June 24.

Under the leadership of Sheriff Duane Lewis, four Animal Control officers will now work staggered 12-hour shifts to respond to calls countywide about stray and/or aggressive animals.

However, the cities of Hanahan and Goose Creek each have their own Animal Control officers, the county said, and residents in those municipalities should not call the county for related animal complaints. In Goose Creek, call 843-863-5200 ext. 2317; in Hanahan, call 843-256-8994.

Any animals officers pick up from calls will be housed at the Berkeley Animal Center, the county said.

“The Sheriff’s Office is prepared to absorb this important department,” Lewis said in a statement.

According to sheriff’s officials, the agency reviewed Animal Control’s prior data to determine how often calls were coming in, in order to ensure Animal Control officers were working appropriate shifts to meet a community need.

“We have studied previous call volumes to anticipate busy times and to set the schedules accordingly,” Lewis said. “With the help of our team and the citizens of Berkeley County, we will strive to tackle all animal issues and concerns in the county in a timely and appropriate manner.”

To contact Berkeley County Animal Control, individuals may now call 843-719-4300.