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