BERRIEN CO., GA (WALB) -
Berrien County Commissioners will vote Tuesday night on a proposed rule that would increase the limit of dogs allowed in a non-commercial kennel. It's a hot topic in the county.
The number of dogs non-commercial dog owners in Berrien County are allowed to keep in kennels on their property may be about to triple. Some dog owners are pushing for the change, but some of their neighbors oppose it.
"The noise, number two is the smell, and number three he's in violation of the county ordinance," said Douglas Carter, a neighbor of one of the dog owners.
Currently, dog owners are allowed to have ten adult dogs per kennel in a rural, agriculturally zoned, non-commercial kennel, but the proposed changes would increase that to 30. Carter believes his neighbor has more than ten dogs in his kennels already and raising the limit would allow him to get away with a violation.
"He's got about twenty dogs in that pen there," said Carter, as he pointed to one of his neighbor's kennels. Berrien County Planning Commission member Nick Lacey believes the changes the planning commission presented to county commissioners are fair.
"I personally believe that if this is put in place, that it would be satisfactory to both the dog owners and the neighbors that are next to the dog owners. I think it's workable," Lacey commented.
To address concerns, Lacey said the planning commission also proposed new requirements for the dog owners. "We recommended to the board of commissioners that they consider a dog bark limiter be placed on any kennel that has over ten dogs," explained Lacey.
The planning commission also proposed that dog owners be required to have effective waste control for their dogs, but Carter doesn't believe his neighbor will abide by the requirement.
"No, he would not abide by it. For ten years he's done what he wants to do," said Carter.
If the commissioners do approve the proposed changes, it's not clear when they would take effect.