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Rapho Township Dog Breeding Kennel App Draws Heavy Criticism From Residents | Local News

A request for a new dog-breeding kennel in Rapho Township drew stiff opposition from a crowd of more than 50 who jammed the meeting room and spilled into an adjoining hallway during a hearing of zoning Tuesday.

A decision on the proposal will be announced on November 1.

Samuel K. and Ruth Anne Zook already operate a ranching business on their 15.3-acre property at 1687 Old Line Road in an agricultural area. They ask permission to build a new kennel.

Several animal rights groups publicized the meeting on social media. During the meeting, opponents of the proposal called the operation a “puppy mill” and asked the zoning hearing board to reject the proposal.

Some shouted questions asking what is done with dogs that are not sold and about the disposal of dead dogs. Neither the Zooks nor their lawyer, James Clymer, answered these questions.

Related: Puppy mill opponents hope to block the breeding kennel at a meeting Tuesday in Rapho Township

Throughout the two-hour meeting, council attorney Thomas Goodman called to order, stating that questions and statements regarding the proposal would only be taken by residents of the township whose property adjoined or was near the Zook property.

Jordan Blanck, 1780 Shumaker Road, said he didn’t want this type of operation near his home.

“It should be shut down if they don’t have permission to do what they’re doing,” he said.

Robert and Lois Brubaker, 1601 Old Line Road, submitted a letter requesting that steps be taken to reduce noise, so they don’t hear dogs barking.

Ed Maule, 1850 Old Line Road, also requested noise reduction measures.

“We hear a lot of dog noise now,” he said.

Kennel Details

Twenty adult dogs of various breeds are housed in a 36-by-48-foot building. A separate 10 x 10 building serves as a whelping room, where dogs whelp and puppies are kept safe while young.

The existing breeding business received approval from the Township Zoning Officer in May 2014. It is licensed by the State Department of Agriculture’s Dog Law Enforcement Office to 51 to 100 dogs.

The Zooks are proposing to build a new 100-by-24-foot kennel that can accommodate 66 adult dogs. It would contain 30 indoor enclosures, each with its own outdoor dog enclosure, and 10 whelping enclosures, each with its own outdoor dog enclosure.

According to the kennel application, the dog enclosures would be 14 feet long. The climate-controlled building would also house an office, whelping room, washing and grooming room, and feeding and storage room.

Samuel Zook said each dog wouldn’t have its own enclosure; three small dogs could share a pen, while two medium-sized dogs could share a pen.

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