Over vocal objections from a crowd of about 50 opponents, members of a Sauk County Council committee on Tuesday approved a conditional use permit for a Spring Green dog breeding kennel.
The permit will allow Jill and Clinton Kane to breed dogs for medical research on their property in the town of Spring Green. The facility will house approximately 135 large breed hunting dogs, which will be cared for by the Kanes and their children.
The Sauk County Land Resources and Environment Committee unanimously approved the controversial permit despite evidence that the facility was already in use with 66 dogs on the site without the necessary paperwork to operate.
Sauk County Land Use and Sanitary Technician Cassandra Fowler said the county issued a violation to the operators for not having the proper permits.
“I want to say that I don’t hate animals,” supervisor Chuck Spencer, chairman of the committee, said in approving the conditional use permit. “We believe they meet the license standards. I am an animal lover; it’s not about hating animals.
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Many people who filled the conference room expressed concern about the environmental impact the facility will have and worried about the disposal of animal waste and potential groundwater contamination.
Based on the findings of Land Resources and Environmental staff following an investigation of the proposed site and application, there is no sewer or septic system on the property. The approved permit requires the installation of a sanitary system to help dispose of sewage and solid waste.
The plaintiffs plan to have a 2,000 gallon tank to collect sewage, which would be treated offsite. They also offered to have solid waste stored on site which will be removed by a licensed waste hauler.
Despite the proposed plan and its approval, members of the public questioned whether the county and the facility operators would follow through on the permit requirements.
“There has also been a blatant disregard for the permit process by the Kanes; they’ve shown they’re not concerned with the permit and approval process,” said Spring Green resident Nicole Peterson. “If the process of obtaining permits and licenses cannot be done properly, how can we be sure that all rules and regulations will be followed in the future?”
In public comments to the committee, Wisconsin Humane Society state director Megan Nicholson said that in addition to concerns about zoning rules and the environment, the committee should consider dog welfare. , how they are raised and treated during medical research.
“These dogs are meant to live short lives in cages, and most, if not all, will be killed after experimentation,” Nicholson said. “The use of dogs for these purposes is of great concern to the public.”
According to a report prepared by Fowler, visitors will not be allowed on the site except for those transferring animals or dropping off supplies.
“Dogs will be kept indoors and there will be no outdoor runs or exercise areas,” the report said.
Following the committee’s approval, members of the public quickly left, some shouting disagreements with the vote. Only one member of the nearly 50 people present at the meeting spoke in favor of the installation.
“I’m disappointed,” Heidi Morris said after the vote. “It all sounds a bit fishy, but I was hopeful when everyone was talking. But I guess you can’t change the legal process.
Spring Green City Council originally recommended conditional use permit approval on June 6. On July 11, the board reconvened in a special meeting following a public outcry and rescinded its recommendation to Sauk County.
The Kanes have 365 days to comply with county orders and upgrade the facility as per the permit.
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