Rockingham County Board of Supervisors hold public hearing for dog breeding ordinance

The Board of Supervisors.
The Board of Supervisors.(File)
Published: Sep. 29, 2022 at 7:30 AM EDT
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ROCKINGHAM COUNTY, Va. (WHSV) - Rockingham County’s Board of Supervisors held public hearings after their primary meeting on Wednesday. There were six public hearings on the agenda, but one in particular, brought out the crowd.

The ordinance surrounding dog breeding has been a hot topic in the county.

The Board held a work session on Sept 13 in regards to it. On Wednesday, an updated version of the ordinance that included some of the changes discussed at the session were brought forward.

Some of the topics still up for discussion in the ordinance include the number of litters one dog can have within a calendar year, the number of litters a facility can have in a calendar year and the amount of land and setback land that is needed.

Over a dozen community members shared their thoughts during the meeting on the ordinance meant to prevent puppy mills in the county.

“The proposed commercial breeding ordinance is consistent with our values by promoting the humane treatment of breeding dogs and their litters of puppies,” Melinda See said.

Pam Miller shared her experience having a dog that came from a puppy mill in Pendleton County.

“Every time we tried to talk to him or interact with him, he messed himself he was so nervous. He had never had any human touch or reaction,” she recalled.

Majority of those in attendance still had concerns.

Many of those either currently bred dogs or had a desire to. Overall, they felt the ordinances put unnecessary regulations on responsible breeders.

“Less numbers are not a guarantee that the puppies are going to be taken care of,” Evelyn Shank reminded the Board. She added that the ordinance as it stands would not work as a primary source of income.

The Janocka family mentioned the land requirements would put them at a disadvantage.

“Personally, we were able to fence in three acres with invisible fencing but five acres would be difficult and expensive,” Mr. Janocka said. “To have this sprung on us at the last minute after being responsible breeders for years is unfair.”

No one spoke in total opposition to the ordinance.

The Board tabled this item and is still taking public comment.

The Board also took action regarding Boyers Crossing in Mount Crawford. The motion to rezone 5.69 acres of land on the corner of Port Republic Rd. and Boyers Rd passed 4-0. William Kyger was not in attendance.