(MEDORA) - Red Sky Rescue in Medora received permission to continue construction of a building to isolate dogs brought to the nonprofit shelter.
Board of Zoning Appeals member Gene Speaker was not pleased with the approval of the variance. He says the shelter has received too many complaints from neighbors about dogs getting loose and causing safety issues for neighbors, such as killing livestock.
The permit for the original shelter was issued in October of 2009, although owner Ruth Riley established Red Sky Rescue in 2007.
At an earlier meeting, Riley said she thought her original variance covered the new isolation shelter she had started building last year. She was later told by Building Commissioner Mike Weir she needed another variance for the 24-by-30-foot building and to stop construction, which she did.
Riley presented her request for the variance for the new building during the board's February meeting, and at that time, the board asked her to provide more information about what the county health department expected her to do to meet regulations as well as the number of dogs the county was bringing to the shelter through its animal control contract and her efforts to keep dogs on the property through fences.
Riley presented the board with a letter from Paul Ramsey, environmental health director, stating Riley had complied with the department's written request to control the amount of discharge from the facility so that waste water did not leave the property.
Ramsey also wrote that Riley had completed an application to install a compliant onsite sewage system for her present shelter as well as the new shelter.
Riley presented a report about the number of dogs the county has brought to the shelter through its $20,000 annual contract.
She also addressed the fencing issue by placing a whole perimeter fence with electric wire at both the top and bottom and no dogs have escaped the facility since the fence was complete.
The animal control committee investigated the complaints and say Riley was in compliance with her contract.
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