Welles­ley boosts stock of dog ken­nels de­spite the con­cerns of some coun­cil­lors

The Woolwich Observer - - NEWS - ALI WIL­SON

TWO NEW DOG KEN­NELS will be added into the mix in Welles­ley, de­spite the reser­va­tions of some town­ship coun­cil­lors.

In a split de­ci­sion last week, coun­cil ap­proved the ap­pli­ca­tions, along with the ex­pan­sion bid of an ex­ist­ing op­er­a­tions.

The room was clearly di­vided on the is­sue March 20, with both Ward 1 Coun. Shel­ley Wag­ner and Ward 3 Coun. Peter van der Maas rais­ing ques­tions about the pro­posed op­er­a­tions, start­ing with why the town­ship needs more ken­nels.

“The Town­ship of Welles­ley al­ready has 16 op­er­at­ing ken­nels. We seem to be a lit­tle over­served with dog ken­nels. I am a lit­tle cu­ri­ous as to where the cus­tomers are com­ing from – there is a lot of prod­uct be­ing of­fered here,” said van der Maas. “This past year we have also had sev­eral ap­pli­ca­tions for new ken­nels; is there a wave of dog own­er­ship com­ing up?”

The mu­nic­i­pal­ity is cur­rently home to 16 li­censed ken­nels, with ap­provals al­ready in place for four more. The two ap­pli­ca­tions dis­cussed last week are new for 2018.

By com­par­i­son, there are cur­rently 11 li­censed ken­nels in neigh­bour­ing Woolwich, with the town­ship re­ceiv­ing one or two ap­pli­ca­tions in an av­er­age year. To put that in per­spec­tive, there is roughly one ken­nel for ev­ery 2,000 peo­ple in Woolwich, while in Welles­ley, around one ken­nel for ev­ery 500 peo­ple.

Todd Loveday, Welles­ley’s by­law en­force­ment /an­i­mal con­trol of­fi­cer,

ex­plained that ken­nel own­ers have told him there is a de­mand for some breeds go­ing un­met. Some peo­ple, look­ing to meet that de­mand, see dog breed­ing as a com­fort­able busi­ness op­por­tu­nity, which ex­plains the rise in oc­cu­pant ken­nel ap­pli­ca­tions, he noted.

The first ap­pli­cant, who has prior ex­pe­ri­ence, said he is look­ing at breed­ing cocker spaniels and golden retriev­ers, an­tic­i­pat­ing he’ll start with 15 to 20 dogs. The sec­ond ap­pli­cant is look­ing to raise poo­dles and golden retriev­ers, start­ing with six to 10 dogs.

Di­rect­ing ques­tions to the first ap­pli­cant, Am­sey K. Martin of 3305 Hessen Strasse, Wag­ner asked about his suc­ces­sion plan for re­tired adult dogs, along with the in­tended mar­ket for pup­pies.

Martin said he would work with deal­ers in Hamil­ton, Toronto and var­i­ous places that would ei­ther adopt the older dogs or sell pup­pies in pet stores.

Wag­ner noted that the sec­ond ap­pli­cants, Mervin Bow­man and Joseph Bow­man of 7500 Line 86, had no prior ex­pe­ri­ence with breed­ing dogs, nor a suc­ces­sion plan.

“For me that’s a re­ally big thing, be­cause it’s one thing for you to set up a nice ken­nel – it’s one thing for you to meet all of our by­laws – but you are go­ing to be breed­ing dogs, dogs that peo­ple adopt and put into their homes. Many peo­ple treat them just like a fam­ily mem­ber,” said Wag­ner. “The adult dogs, when you’re ready to re­tire them, there are many peo­ple that will look at adopt­ing adult dogs. That is re­ally some­thing for me, be­cause my con­cern is, what you do with those adult dogs when they are done pro­duc­ing pup­pies for you? You need to think about those things.”

De­spite the coun­cil­lors’ con­cerns, both ap­pli­ca­tions were ap­proved in a 3-2 split vote.

Un­der the town­ship process, would-be ken­nel op­er­a­tors are re­quired to sub­mit a ken­nel ap­pli­ca­tion that in­cludes the ap­pli­ca­tion form, a busi­ness plan, pro­posed liv­ing con­di­tions and san­i­ta­tion plans for the ken­nel, along with the re­quired ap­pli­ca­tion fee. As well, there must be a site map that shows the lo­ca­tion of the ken­nel on the prop­erty and re­lated de­tails of both in­side and out­side spa­ces.

How­ever, not in­cluded is a re­quire­ment within the town­ship’s an­i­mal con­trol by­law is a de­tailed suc­ces­sion plan for re­tired older dogs once they are no longer of use to ken­nel own­ers.

With that in­for­ma­tion in hand, the town­ship cir­cu­lates a let­ter to nearby prop­erty own­ers, so­lic­it­ing feed­back on the ken­nel pro­posal. Fol­low­ing that, staff drafts a rec­om­men­da­tion re­port for coun­cil’s de­ci­sion.

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