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Zoning board OKs kennel, dog grooming business

By Blair Yankey - byankey@perutribune.com

Miami County zoning officials have cleared the way for a local woman to operate a kennel and dog grooming business from her Jefferson Township Home.

The Zoning Board of Appeals on Wednesday night granted a request from Joyce Lowe to allow the business as long she didn't house more than 18 dogs, which would include eight that are breeding females.

Lowe, who resides at 5835 North 100 West in Peru, told the zoning board that she has a kennel that will hold 11 dogs. She said the kennel has nine indoor and outdoor enclosures, a fenced outdoor area for the dogs to run around and heat and air conditioning. In addition, she has an elevated tub and table for grooming.

County Zoning Administrator Tammy Gamble said a county ordinance requires those who have more than three dogs to apply for a variance. Currently, Lowe has 16 dogs in her possession, but indicated that some are in the process of being adopted. According to Gamble, Lowe was unaware of the county ordinance’s dog policy.

With regards to Lowe’s variance request, Gamble told the zoning board she had no problem with it, but if approved, she recommends that there be a limit on the number of dogs allowed.

There were no residents who spoke out against Lowe’s request. In fact, County Animal Control Director John Heeter encouraged the board to vote in favor of it.

“(Joyce) has a really nice facility,” Heeter said. “When we went to inspect the welfare of the dogs, they all had food and water, they were caged nicely and there was a decent grooming area. I have no complaints.”

Board member Randy Hileman said he’s not usually in favor of breeding dogs, but he’d make an exception if there was a limit on the number of dogs allowed. Collectively, Lowe and the zoning board came with an agreement of 18 total dogs, with eight of them being breeding females. However, dogs that are under 12 weeks old are excluded from the total number of dogs allowed.

The variance request passed by a 4-0 vote. Board member Jason Bowman was not present at Wednesday’s meeting.

Gamble said had the request not passed, the zoning office would have worked with Lowe in allowing her ample time to find homes for the dogs, or she could have appealed the decision to the courts.