An appeal date will be set in Mountain View County after citizens raised concerns about an $825,000 dog breeding project north of Calgary.
The development proposal was submitted in late May, with the developer writing that it wanted to build a “commercial kennel, specifically specializing in the ethical breeding of dogs under 20 pounds, with 35 dogs on site.”
“Our goal is an exceptional environment, to give our dogs a great experience and to keep our neighbors very happy, and both are achievable,” the company said in the proposal.
The proposal was approved by the county, granting the company permission to have a litter of 24 puppies per year and to house up to 55 dogs for breeding at any one time.
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The project has outraged some dog rescue groups.
“It was a little shocking when we first found out about this, that something like this would even be considered developed,” said Amanada Thomson of BARCS Rescue in Cremona, Alta. “Especially in our current world with overcrowded shelters and such.”
The BARCS filed an appeal hours before the Thursday afternoon deadline, concerned about space for the number of dogs offered on the property, breeder experience and practices. They are not alone.
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“In order to reduce noise, they have indicated that they will equip all dogs on the property with anti-bark collars and dog collars are a very red flag for a positive reinforcement organization like,” said Albert Yau, director of the Pause 4 Change rescue foundation.
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Global News spoke with the owner of the kennel on Thursday evening, who said he has a decade of experience and strongly refutes the suggestion that he was planning to build a so-called “puppy mill“.
They hope to breed Shichon, a mix between Shih Tzu and Bichon Frize dog breeds. They are considered hypoallergenic and perfect for people with disabilities, according to the breeder.
The kennel owner said he had a sizeable budget for the project, as he wanted to build a top-notch, immaculate facility with plenty of outdoor space and 24/7 care. They also promise better experience for future adopters and a stricter adoption process.
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The Mountain View County warden said it’s important people understand the process.
“We have received many calls about this,” said prefect Angela Aalbers. “I think there’s just a general concern about what development entails and not enough knowledge about what development entails.”
The county said the administration will now consider the appeal and a board will be selected.
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