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Starkey board adopts new kennel policy ADVERTISEMENT

Starkey board adopts new kennel policy

STARKEY--In a 3-2 vote, the Starkey town council passed new regulations Thursday, Sept. 6 for the maintenance and oversight of commercial dog kennels.
The council members were split supporting the new regulations with Jack Ossont and Fred Shoemaker believing the policy does not do enough to create direct oversight and accountability in the maintenance of dog kennels. Council members William Holgate and Alan Giles voted in favor of the regulations. Supervisor George Lawson, breaking the tie in favor of ratification, said the mandatory inspections by certified veterinarians were "concrete improvements" to the former policy, given that Starkey's local government could do only so much to regulate, compared to state and federal bodies.
The proposed regulations were subject to public scrutiny prior to the vote at a hearing at 7 p.m., which was attended by 20 community members. The public was divided between those in favor, who said the regulations introduced improvements to the previous policy and those against, who maintained that dogs may still be vulnerable to abuse and neglect.
Key parts of the new regulations include the following:
• Kennel owners must comply with regulations by the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets and the United States Department of Agriculture.
• Design elements for a kennel operation must mitigate noise both inside and out to protect the animals hearing as well as prohibiting nuisance noise impacting neighbors.
• Primary Pens, adjacent exercise areas and outside runs shall be a minimum of 200 percent of USDA standards and include daily access to an outside portion of the pen. Stacked pens are not allowed. Whelping areas shall not be located adjacent to flooring that would allow feet to penetrate the flooring.
• Waste shall be composted. Piles shall be situated a minimum of 200 feet from any waterway, ditch, stream, pond or lake.
• Flooring shall be solid or plastic-coated wire flooring with a minimum of 50 percent solid flooring required.
• Each breeding dog at retirement shall be spayed or neutered.
• Kennel applications need to include a plan for dog exercise, socialization and grooming. Each applicant for a kennel shall provide the name of a fully certified veterinarian who has agreed to attend to any animals to be housed at the proposed kennel and include a letter from that veterinarian regarding the dogs' care and the number of dogs at this facility.
• A town official may visit a kennel operation once a year to assess the effectiveness of the regulations.
Copies of the specific kennel regulations are available at the Starkey town office on Seneca Street in Dundee. The local law takes effect immediately upon the town filing with the Secretary of State.
Steve Fulkerson said the regulations provide concrete standards for approving and denying applications and newly approved kennels would be "marked improvements."
"We will have clear guidance as to how to make decent decisions regarding facilities to meet the public demand for dogs that are raised in these facilities," Fulkerson said.







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