Dog facility put on leash

A proposed dog training facility has been turned down by Red Deer County’s municipal planning commission.

A proposed dog training facility has been turned down by Red Deer County’s municipal planning commission.

Shar Mulligan, owner of Waggles Academy for Dogs, had applied for a developer permit for a dog training facility as a home business-major on an acreage five km southwest of Red Deer on the C&E Trail.

Mulligan told the planning commission, which is comprised of members of county council, that she wanted to hold up to six hours of group dog training lessons a week at her five-acre site. Individual lessons would also be held throughout the week, but no kennelling of dogs was proposed.

However, several councillors raised concerns that the facility could prove a noise nuisance to neighbouring residents, some of whom had written letters of opposition.

Coun. Jean Bota felt the dog operation would be too close to neighbours.

“I don’t feel it’s the place for dog training,” she said.

Coun. Connie Huelsman was also concerned that it is difficult to prevent dogs barking and annoying neighbours.

Coun. Philip Massier, though, favoured the application. He noted that the dogs would not be kept overnight in kennels. The acreage site was a good fit for that kind of business, he suggested.

The development application was rejected by a 3-2 vote with Coun. Christine Moore joining Huelsman and Bota against. Massier and Coun. Don Church voted in favour.

Mulligan was disappointed with the decision and is considering an appeal.

“I feel some of the council members have a different vision of what my actual training facility is,” she said on Wednesday.

“We are not a rescue shelter. We train pet dogs.”

Mulligan said she also hopes that neighbours with concerns approach her to get more information about her proposal and clear up any misconceptions about her plans.

“The neighbouring properties are very important to us. We want to be accepted into the community.

“We truly hope to gain the acceptance and support of our neighbours.”

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