I read the Jan. 9 article "Dog day care gains first step toward municipal approval" with some dismay and concern.
I have searched for years for the right property to operate a dog day care and in-home boarding facility. I finally found it, but it is 30 minutes away from the HRM core area. I did my research, learned about the zoning, did the application for the development permit, and applied for and received a kennel licence.
The thought of HRM suddenly being agreeable to having this sort of business in residential areas is surprising, and somehow wrong. I did it the right way, went through all the hoops, and now I learn I could have kept my home in a residential area and operated it there?
And since when do we acknowledge that someone is operating illegally and just say, in effect, OK then, let’s let her operate for 12 years and see how we can help her to run legally?
All the personnel I dealt with at HRM were very professional and very firm in explaining the rules and regulations for this kind of business. Is Janet Chernin talking to a different office?
Also, I have learned of other facilities that have been shut down because they were operating in zones that did not permit it.
Lisa Dillinger, owner/operator,Dogs @ Home, Seaforth
So this is the letter I wrote in response:
Lisa Dillinger's letter in January 17th's edition of the Chronicle Herald amounts to nothing more than a serious case of sour grapes when she says she read the article about the HRM moving ahead with the legalization of in home doggy day cares with some "some dismay and concern". Why would she be worried about the legalization of her own industry? What she's saying is absolutely ludicrous! She should be applauding the Municipality and Janet Chernin instead of saying that what they are doing is "surprising and somewhat wrong". Simply because she happened to time the opening of her own business before the legal wrangling has been worked out so that new businesses can't open yet legally on the peninsula doesn't mean that she should be so hateful towards a business owner who is doing nothing more than trailblazing and I should also say - has spent more than $16,000 of her own money in legal bills so far - to legitimize the very business that Ms. Dillinger just opened herself in Seaforth this past July. It is because of Ms. Chernin and the 12 years that she has spent showing people that a business like hers is a good idea and that dogs (and dog owners) need this kind of refuge so that people like Ms. Dillinger can now open the same type of business and bear the fruit of it. And in the not too distant future - if Ms. Dillinger wishes to relocate back to the peninsula - she will have that opportunity - and she can thank Ms. Chernin and the HRM Councillors for it!
I'm not quite sure how anyone could live in quite such a vacuum that they wouldn't know of anyone else operating the same kind of business that they're wanting to open up - but it seems that Ms. Dillinger had never heard of Janet or the troubles that she'd been going through since 2005 - but Janet being the bon vivant that she is - these 2 ladies are now the best of friends - and the Chronicle Herald is now in receipt of another letter to the editor from Ms. Dillinger apologizing to Janet - which is super.
The 2nd letter I wrote today is a letter I've been meaning to write ever since I went to the Regional Council meeting last Tuesday night - and then noticed that there wasn't an article about it the next day in the newspaper - and that's the fact that major amendments to Bylaw A-300 were voted down at the Council Meeting without being discussed or debated - they were just put on the agenda, the motion put before Council, and voted down - and that was it. What is up with that? So tonight I wrote to the City Hall Reporter for the Chronicle Herald, Amy Pugsley Fraser. I'm sure nothing will come out of it, but what the hell. I'm a fast typer and it only took a couple minutes. Here's the letter I wrote to her:
Hi there Amy - my name is Joan Sinden and I'm an active member of the local dog community. I noticed that you do a lot of the local dog stories, and that you're also the City Hall Reporter for Chronicle Herald.
What I'm writing about tonight though is the fact that I figure you must have been watching that particular Council meeting from home - because also on the agenda was something very innocuous - 11.1.7 - http://www.halifax.ca/council/agendasc/documents/080108ca1117.pdf -
First Reading Proposed Amendments to By-Law A-300 - which went very quickly at Council when Steve Adams said that Council was advising to refuse the amendments - Younger and Adams had wanted staff to supply recommendations about having free licences - and this was the report for it - but if you notice in this report - there's a couple other things in there that are also talked about -
- dogs and cats would only be required to be registered once - for free
- spayed and neutered cats are allowed outside - but if a person finds a cat on their property that they don't want there, they're allowed to trap them and if the owner is found, they are fined
- a trap, neuter and release program will be supported through a grants program
But without any discussion allowed at all - Hendsbee tried to engage the Mayor for a second - the amendments were voted down.
Personally I am in aggreement - I think that having free licencing is absolutely ridiculous - if that was the case Animal Control would be bringing in no revenue whatsoever because the fines they generate are through statutory fines - and those monies go to the province and not the city! It's my understanding that it's because they are through police services. I think it's highway robbery. Animal Control should support itself through it's fine system. Anything else is rubbish.
But I thought someone in the media should know that a major amendment to Bylaw A-300 was very quietly voted down last week and no one seemed to notice - and Regional Council seemed very happy to keep it that way. And what they did to those Fire Service personnel was horrible too. Everybody in the audience was writhing.