Dog kennel gets initial OK for expansion

Published 9:16 am Wednesday, December 29, 2010


ISLE OF WIGHT— The Isle of Wight County Planning Commission on Tuesday unanimously gave preliminary approval for the addition of 200 kennels at a Walters dog-training facility.

If approved by the county Board of Supervisors during its 5 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 6, meeting, American K-9 Interdiction will have a total of 400 kennels, making it the nation’s largest private kennel.

A few people who live near the Burdette Road kennel, which in June began training dogs for the military and police, expressed concerns about the addition of the 18,500-square-foot building for the 200 extra kennels.

Volpe Boykins isn’t opposed to the operation, just the noise, which peaks during morning and afternoon feeding times.

Planning Commission member Rex Alphin referred to the noise as “highly intrusive only during the feeding times,” yet he praised American K-9 for cleaning up the 51-acre property—a former detention camp.

American K-9 agreed to enclose its kennels with plywood and insulation and install sound-reducing panels in the roof.

Nearby resident Jim Perry, a Norfolk Police retiree who has worked with police dogs, said he moved here from Great Bridge for the quiet. Perry noted that although American K-9 said the additional kennels will create 50 to 70 jobs, many will be hired from out of the area.

William Riddick, an attorney from Smithfield who represents American K-9, told the Planning Commission the main reason for expanding is because the military needs dogs.

“It’s sad that they need more dogs, but a necessary thing,” Riddick said.

Paul Roushia, president, co-owner and master trainer for American K-9, said the company is spending thousands of dollars to be a good neighbor.

The Planning Commission also agreed to extend training until 10 p.m. It has been 6 p.m. Night training is only expected once or twice a month.

In November 2009, the Board of Supervisors voted to sell the land to American K-9 for $200,000. The county also approved a special-use permit allowing for a commercial kennel for the training of dogs, storage of high explosives and the boarding of military and civilian trainees.

Should the county supervisors approve the amended special-use permit, construction on the new building could begin as early as January and take 60 days to complete.

American K-9 Interdiction employs a total of 69 at its two facilities—25 in Walters and the rest in Hartsville, S.C.