Chesterton Tribune

 

 

Barking a concern for proposed dog shelter in Liberty Township

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By JEFF SCHULTZ

Plans for a shelter that would be for greyhounds and other sighthounds at 950 North CR 100 West in Liberty Twp. were heard Wednesday by the Porter County Development Review Committee for an informal site review.

American Greyhound, Inc., will be appearing before the County Board of Zoning Appeals later this month to request a use variance to operate a rescue shelter in a rural residential area. The parcel is a ten acre site between the Swanson-Lamporte ditch to the west and CR 100 W to the east. The CSX railroad is along its southern border.

Attorney Todd Leeth, representing American Greyhound and its president Jeff Coggins, said the shelter will be a smaller building with a looped driveway that runs through it so dogs can be dropped off inside.

The organization works to find foster homes for the dogs but currently does not have a shelter facility. “This is a better opportunity to provide care and service to the animals and their adoptive homes,” Leeth said.

Coggins, who was present at the meeting, said the building will be designed to accommodate up to 25 to 30 dogs but often no more than 20 dogs will be housed at a time.

DRC member Robert Thompson, who is also director of the County Development and Stormwater Management Department, asked if something will be done to prevent the dogs’ barking being heard by neighbors. Leeth said that the dogs would not be heard because they would be inside the shelter.

“It’s a building. It’s enclosed. I don’t think the level of sound would be objectionable because it will be muffled,” said Leeth, who told the DRC there are no plans for soundproofing panels. Coggins said that the walls will however be insulated.

County Surveyor Kevin Breitzke said there have been other animal facilities where neighbors have complained about hearing dogs bark, especially when many dogs are housed or there are noises outside like trains. Coggins said he will make sure that barking is not an annoyance to the neighbors.

“It there is an issue, I will address it before the neighbors even hear about it,” Coggins said.

Leeth said the building will be on the west end of the property away from the residences that are on the east side of CR 100 W. There will be landscaping put in that could buffer any noise emanating from the building.

Coggins said greyhounds rarely bark, which surprises people to hear. “They are probably the laziest dogs you’ll ever meet,” he said.

The shelter will be run by volunteers. Between ten and 20 volunteers are interested in helping and many of them reside a short distance away, Coggins said.

The dogs will not be outside when there are no volunteers at the shelter, he added.

There will be parking spaces for the volunteers, Coggins said. He plans to have one Saturday per month when those interested in the dogs can come out to the Shelter. Overflow parking will be on the grass, he said.

DRC member Kelly Cadwell asked how Coggins intends to handle the water used for washing the dog kennels and the dogs themselves. Coggins said that dogs will be bathed once on their intake and water from the cleaning station would run to an onsite septic system. Dog waste will be picked up by a commercial garbage company regularly about every day, depending on how many dogs there are, he said.

Breitzke said that state regulations do not allow for animal waste to go through a septic system. He told Coggins and Leeth that given the proximity of the Swanson-Lamporte drain to the west, the way the organization manages its drainage will be monitored closely since the drain connects to Lake Michigan.

Leeth said a formal site plan will be presented once the organization can obtain its variances from the BZA. The engineer on the project is Scott Civanich of The Duneland Group.

 

Posted 8/3/2017

 

 

 

 
 
 
 

 

 

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