County commissioners narrowly approved a conditional use application for a longtime dog breeding kennel on…
An unlicensed kennel on Lennox and Addington County Road 9 has community members concerned about the welfare of dogs they say live in a “puppy mill”.
A spokesperson for the group of concerned dog lovers, who have asked that they remain anonymous for fear of reprisals from the owners of the kennel, contacted Kingstonist on Thursday January 20, 2022 to publicly raise their concerns.
Neighbors at the property noticed several dogs barking and howling in early January 2022, the spokesperson noted. “With the amount of dog barking and carrying, it wasn’t difficult [to see that there were dogs there]. Also, we were told by neighbors that there was not just one or two dogs, but at least 10-15 dog parks or kennels.
On a walk on January 7, 2022, two members of the group said: “There were 20 dogs, if not more, at that time on the property. Four Ontario Animal Welfare Officer vans were on site at the time, along with two Ontario Provincial Police patrol cars. They believed at the time that the dogs were abducted. A spokesperson for the Lennox and Addington Detachment of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) confirmed the police presence at the scene.
Walkers saw two dogs in a truck parked in front of the property, and at that short distance they believed the dogs were pit bulls, a breed banned in Ontario since a 2005 amendment to the Owners’ Liability Act of dogs (DOLA) .
However, there was another cacophony of dog noises within a week, and neighbors reported to the City of Greater Napanee that there were dogs on the property again, as well as construction noises, “something ‘one who uses a chainsaw and maybe a backhoe.”
In an email on Saturday, Jan. 15, they asked city staff and Ward 2 Councilor Terry Richardson, “Has a permit been granted for a kennel to operate on the property? And if not, isn’t there just a maximum of three dogs allowed on the property with a carer, heated shelter and running water – none, none of which can be provided without electricity and a well? »
Michael Nobes, general manager of growth and expansion for the City of Greater Napanee, responded by email three days later. “We have visited the site and followed up with the owner regarding issues with the operation. The owner has undertaken construction without a permit and this is being investigated and enforced as necessary to comply with the Building Code .
“Staff are working with the owner to bring operations into compliance with applicable municipal bylaws,” Nobes continued. “The owner undertakes to have the necessary plans drawn up to illustrate the proper functioning of the site in order to enable the obtaining of an appropriate license from the municipality.”
The spokesperson for the complainant group said: “I don’t know how it will work if there is no electricity or water on the property. Plus, it would seem like a difficult process when there’s a strike against the landowner for trying to run an under-the-radar kennel operation.
Another witness, who visited Sandhill Cemetery (also known as McCabe Cemetery) next to the property, confirmed in a video recording on Sunday January 23, 2022 that there were indeed many large dogs slaughtered still at the site. On Monday, January 24, this witness called the Ontario Provincial Police to investigate their involvement in the situation and report what she had heard. She then contacted Animal Welfare to inquire about the situation and share her findings.
A summary of the situation was provided to the group in writing by Michael Nobes of the City of Greater Napanee on Wednesday, January 25.
“To my knowledge, the Animal Welfare Inspector has seen a dramatic improvement in the welfare of the dogs on the property and they are beginning to scale back their enforcement actions as the owner has been cooperating with their orders,” wrote Nobes. “The OPP was on the scene initially when this issue arose and did not seize the dogs. The City confirmed that the owner was able to provide sufficient proof of the breed of the dogs and that the animals are not of a restricted breed.
“Ultimately,” continued Nobes, “with multiple factors at play, the city is trying to work as cooperatively as possible with the owner to legitimize the operation, but other steps can be taken by the city. if continued cooperation is not received in return.
He also confirmed: “We have received proof that they were not a pit bull breed at all.”
However, things took a dramatic turn in the late afternoon when animal protection services visited the site again and began actively removing the dogs. At that time, the group realized that there may have been injuries at the scene of the abduction.
After several attempts to confirm the situation with Provincial Animal Welfare, a response was received on Friday January 28, 2022 from Brent Ross, spokesperson for the Ministry of the Solicitor General.
“On January 25, Animal Welfare Services removed 11 dogs from a location near Kingston after the owner failed to comply with a number of compliance orders related to standards of care under of the Provincial Animal Welfare Services Act. The owner has now complied with orders and the animals have been returned,” Ross confirmed.
As for a rumor that individuals were bitten during the removal, Ross said, “The department cannot comment on the health status of individuals for reasons of confidentiality.”
The province has established a toll-free number, 1-833-9-ANIMAL (264625), for people to report concerns about animal distress or abuse. This call center is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.