Critics argue that puppy mill operators ignore duties that are standard among responsible dog breeders - raising dogs in humane conditions, providing good socialization and formal training, and screening potential dog owners for suitability. Critics say that these "puppy farmers" are motivated only by profit rather than a commitment to the breed standard or any empathy for the animals in their care.
The Planning Commission overwhelmingly voted to deny the Faubions permit, and now the sisters have appealed to the Board of Supervisors. Please ask our Supervisors to uphold our Planning Commissions decision and once again, deny this Kennel Permit which will only cause the suffering of countless animals.
By Kimberly Ross
Friday, February 9, 2007
The neighbors couldn't have been more convincing if they'd held barking puppies to the hearing board members' ears.
After listening to comments about the illegal and noisy dog population previously housed at a proposed kennel, Shasta County planning commissioners said they'd heard enough.
The crowd applauded after Thursday's decision. Eleven neighbors and six animal rescue representatives spoke against the project. Those who addressed the board included neighbor Martha Wagner.
"It disturbs our dogs to hear these puppies yapping, but it disturbs us, too," she told commissioners.
Sisters Amy and Yvonne Faubion had requested the permit. On Thursday, Amy Faubion asked for a decision on it to be delayed so she could downsize the proposal to a 20-dog kennel. Faubion said she is disabled and breeding dogs is a hobby, but it also provides her with a livelihood.
Opponents question that claim. They spoke of feces being hosed down the property's hillside, foul odors, the noise-amplifying shape of the neighborhood, potentially lowered property values and difficulty renting a home next to a kennel.
Neighbor Mark Havsgaard, who has filed a separate lawsuit against the Faubions for lost rent, said they've proven their disregard for county rules. Meanwhile, neighbors can't hold outdoor barbecues or entertain guests in peace, he said.
"I'm going to have to bulldoze the house, or rent to deaf people," he said before the decision.
Amy Faubion was cited in January 2006 by the Shasta County Sheriff's Animal Regulation department for failing to license and vaccinate for rabies and for the kennel permit violation. At the time, Faubion had 50 dogs older than 4 months and 18 puppies.
In December, she reduced the number to the county's rule of six pets per household but was forced to reduce her prices and even give some puppies away free, she said Thursday.
Faubion told commissioners Thursday that her breeding had gotten out of control, but it wouldn't happen again, as she would debark her 20 breeding dogs and had found no-kill shelters to take extra puppies if they couldn't be sold.
This incensed several animal rescue workers who also testified Thursday. The county has enough unwanted animals to find homes for, and many must still be euthanized, they said.
Haven Human Society CEO Joel Warner said that between his agency and the sheriff's Animal Regulation department, it can cost $1,000 per year to save each unwanted dog or cat.
"That's a lot of money you and your taxpayers are sending in," Warner told commissioners.
Sandy Shelby of Another Chance Animal Welfare League said her organization took in about six of Faubion's dogs.
"The noise was deafening. . . . They were all shivering, and they were all barking. We could barely carry on a conversation," Shelby said.
But the litters never had to be born in the first place.
"We would rather rescue animals that need us versus animals that have been bred for greed," she said.
Reporter Kimberly Ross can be reached at 225-8339 or at email@example.com.
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