Jerusalem dog kennel gets nod

Gwen Chamberlain

The Jerusalem Zoning Board of Appeals has accepted an application for a special use permit for the construction of a 16 ft. by 24 ft. structure to house up to eight breeding female dogs and three adult male dogs, despite some concerns raised by neighbors and animal advocates.

After hearing comments from seven of the 18 people who attended the meeting, the board unanimously approved the Special Use Permit, limiting the facility’s capacity from the original application for 12 breeding females.

The board also is requiring the owner, Matthew Sensenig, to provide the town with:

• Plans for feces removal

• Plans for privacy fencing

• No altering of dogs to stop the barking

The town code enforcement officer will monitor compliance with the requirements.

Two neighbors spoke in support of Sensenig, but did voice concerns about the potential for barking dogs disturbing the peaceful rural atmosphere.

Others who spoke raised general concerns about dog kennel businesses. One man said, “The space may be legal, but it may not be humane.”

Another man spoke in support of the project, noting that Sensenig’s plans called for more space for dogs that is required for Humane Society facilities.

ZBA Chairman Glen Herbert explained that the town planning board had approved Sensenig’s project, which is a permitted use in the town.