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Fauquier County relaxes regulations on small dog farms

Fauquier residents who only breed dogs once a year will be allowed to apply to have a small kennel without obtaining county zoning approval.

During a public hearing on Thursday, the Fauquier departmental supervisory board unanimously approved an amendment to the text exempting small breeders from acquiring a special or exceptional permit if they do not raise more than one pet once a year. The amendment will also allow breeders to establish a “minor kennel” – allowing up to four litters per calendar year.

The Fauquier Planning Commission drafted the new amendment in January after breeders approached the county and raised concerns about the bureaucracy that prevents them from being able to raise small litters as a hobby.

At the Planning Commission public hearing last month, Marshall District resident David Golden said his family was interested in breeding purebred Canaan dogs, a rare breed of dog that originated in the Middle East, which he says is not only important to his family, but would help prevent the breed from becoming extinct.

“Our Canaan dogs have always been the most important thing in the world,” he said. “They are precious members of our family.”

Golden also noted that small hobby breeders like him are responsible and contribute to the wider community by “doing things like donating the services of their therapy dogs to county schools and hospitals.”

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