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Amherst supervisors approval new kennel, dog training facility

Amherst supervisors approval new kennel, dog training facility

Only $5 for 5 months
Amherst Parade

In this June 2019 file photo, a dog watches the Town of Amherst's First Responders Parade with interest. 

The Amherst County Board of Supervisors approved a special exception request that allows a kennel for dogs to operate on Campbell’s Mill Road in Amherst.

Supervisors unanimously approved the zoning measure at its July 21 meeting that allows the kennel to board up to 15 dogs at the facility at 318 Campbell’s Mill Road.

Dorothy Shifflett, the applicant, would board dogs on average of four to six weeks per dog and train them at her house, according to county documents. A 392-square-foot accessory building would house the kennel spaces for the dogs.

The facility, referred to in documents as Harrison K9 Training, LLC, is a board-and-train program. The types of training provided would include assessment and evaluation of a dog at the client’s property, on-site boarding and training that consists of puppy training, tracking, service dogs and special services as requested. In the final phase of service, dogs are delivered back to the client’s home to complete training with the client.

Harrison is certified by the American K9 Academy as a canine behavior specialist, according to county documents attached to the application.

The kennel building would have heating, ventilation and air-conditioning. The building would be insulated with a thermal and sound transmission system to control noise, the application states.

The Amherst County Planning Commission recommended denial of the special exception in June. Jeremy Bryant, director of community development, recommended limiting the maximum number of dogs at 10.

Shifflett told supervisors limiting her business is stifling commerce and she would lose roughly $30,000 if the permit was denied.

“Limiting me to 10 dogs is problematic,” Shifflett said. “I plan to expand.”

The board’s approval came with several conditions, including noise mitigation and fencing an exercise area for the dogs.

“My dogs don’t run at large,” Shifflett said. “That’s disrespectful to my neighbors.”

Supervisor Tom Martin said he felt raising the limit of dogs to 15 helps Shifflett in expanding without having to come back before the county for additional approvals.

“I definitely support young people starting businesses,” Martin said. “... I don’t think this is going to be detrimental to that neighborhood.”

Reach Justin Faulconer at (434) 385-5551.

Reach Justin Faulconer at (434) 385-5551.

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