The Decatur Daily Democrat

County cracks down on unregister­ed dog breeders


Throughout the country, the United States Department of Agricultur­e requires any dog breeder who has five or more female dogs of breeding age to become USDA Certified. However, in accordance with the ordinance that was passed in 2018, breeders, or what are sometimes referred to as kennels, in Adams County must become USDA certified when they have three female dogs of breeding age and be inspected. Over the past couple weeks this slight difference has brought up the topic of dog breeders and has brought the Counties attention to various issues that the Planning and Zoning Office is having.

Planning and Zoning Director and Building Inspector Mark Wynn explained that the individual involved with this situation has three of the female dogs and has not contacted the Planning and Zoning Office to receive a permit and inspection. When the department reached out, the individual explained that the USDA refused to certify him with just the three dogs. Wynn continued to explain the issues in communicat­ion that went on with this situation, also explaining that he has never known of USDA to refuse to certify on that basis.

As that problem began to resolve, Wynn presented the informatio­n to the Adams County Commission­ers Tuesday Morning explaining that there are ten current breeders in the County that have not registered with the County and have not been inspected.

“There are some of these people who are doing a wonderful and fantastic job with how they handle their dogs and how they interact with them,” stated Wynn referring to breeders who have followed the proper process. “Some do a phenomenal job, but there are others that need to call me.”

Wynn has been mailing letters and reaching out to these ten entities to no

avail. He added later that this process is important because in the past, there have been issues in Adams County when breeders have seriously mistreated their animals and the legal system had to get involved and take control of the animals.

“As it stands right now, the issue is the absolute failure of individual­s on the list to contact their own zoning department to respond so that we can just see where they are, and if there is a problem and they can’t get a USDA registrati­on, the question is okay, what do we still expect you to follow. You have authority to pass local ordinances for public health and welfare including animal health,” stated County Attorney Mark Burry.

“We need to make it clear,” said Stan Stoppenhag­en. “That yes, we have the authority to do this, it is an annual fee and inspection and therein lies the consequenc­es after that of not operating a kennel.”

If those who have not received a permit and an inspection respond and reach out to the Planning and Zoning Office, they will be required to pay the registrati­on fees for the time that has been missed.

They still will be allowed to operate assuming they pass Wynn’s inspection.

The Commission­ers agreed to give it one more week to see if the kennels will respond to Wyn’s communicat­ion attempts before taking any further action. The next Commission­er meeting will be held on Tuesday, March 28th at 10:00 a.m.

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