Hearing June 10 for dog rescue, adoption facility in Sedley

Published 8:40 am Wednesday, June 2, 2010

COURTLAND—Residents can comment on the possibility of a dog adoption and rescue facility opening in Sedley when the Southampton County Planning Commission holds a public hearing at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, June 10.

The hearing will be held in the board room of the Southampton County Office Center.

Southampton County native Jeff Burgess, in conjunction with Blackwater Builders, is requesting a conditional use permit to operate One More Chance Rescue and Adoption on a 50.51-acre site at 16289 Drake Road.

The facility currently operates in western Ohio. Burgess plans to move back to the area and wants to bring his nonprofit rescue and adoption center with him.

Beth Lewis, Southampton County’s head planner, said the county’s zoning ordinance requires a conditional use permit for a commercial dog kennel.

“We don’t have a category for an adoption or rescue facility,” she said.

The only distinction in the ordinance is between private kennels, like those for hunt clubs, and commercial kennels, Lewis said.

One More Chance Rescue and Adoption has a staff of volunteers and strives to train pets as a means to prevent unnecessary euthanizations.

“If you take the time to educate a child, it’s going to do better in life, normally,” Burgess said. “If you educate a pet, it’s going to do better in life, too.”

He said the only time an animal is euthanized is when its quality of life is compromised, and there is no other medical alternative to treat the animal.

While the facility is a nonprofit, Burgess said it could still benefit some local businesses, including those in the pet-supply industry and even contractors; the organization strongly recommends that adoptive families have a fenced-in yard.

“There is a lot of potential for a lot of revenue to be generated through this organization,” he said.

Burgess said the organization has been very involved in Ohio by donating food to local churches and food banks, and he plans to continue that involvement.

“We do what we can to help the community,” Burgess said.

The Planning Commission’s recommendation on the conditional use permit will be forwarded to the Board of Supervisors for final consideration.