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2012-04-18 at 20:53

Having a say

By Jeff Labine,
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Residents in the municipality of Neebing voiced their concerns over the proposed amendment to expand the definition of a dog kennel.

More than 60 people crowded into to the Neebing council chamber Wednesday for the special meeting. The entire former classroom only had standing room only with people concerned about the proposed amendment.

The amendment would expand the definition of what a kennel would be. The proposed zoning bylaw would define a dog kennel as an establishment used for breeding, raising, boarding or working of more than two dogs over the age of six.

The majority of residents who attended the meeting were against the amendment.

Shanlee Linton was one of the first to speak at the meeting. Linton spoke publically about another bylaw passed by Neebing council that had stricter rules for noisy dogs.

She said these bylaws threatened her heritage and her ability to enjoy her dogs.

Linton accused her neighbours of lying about how they manage their dogs. She said they live in that community and they know exactly when they make a noise. She said they have had no complaints about the noise.

With the proposed amendment, they wouldn’t be able to have any more dogs but then there’s the problem with rezoning, she said.

“In the bylaw zoning in order to have a kennel you have to be rezoned as agricultural,” Linton said. “We live on the waterfront so therefore we would not be able to get a kennel license. The application fee is thousand dollars and yes, it is a lot of money but there’s no way our neighbours would give us permission to do that. They aren’t going to zone where we live agriculturally so we would have to get rid of the dogs.”

In total, Linton owns six sled dogs as well as a golden retriever and a pug. She said they move out to the community to spent time with their dogs and play with them.

The majority of residents appeared to agree with Linton’s opinions at the meeting. Most of the letters submitted to council were in opposition of the amendment.

Linton added that she was proud to have her community come to the meeting and show their support.

But not everyone at the meeting was against the amendment.

Don Skochinski, who purchased a camp in the community about a year ago, said he was in support of the bylaw but specifically the limitation of the number of dogs a person can have. He said he lives near neighbours who have a number of dogs and they can be noisy.

“I know a number of residents in Neebing are concerned that council is targeting pets; no they are not,” Skochinski said. “They are looking at a situation where we have eight dogs on a tiny less than one acre piece of land and people can’t sleep, can’t enjoy their property and it isn’t the proper location for that.”

Skochinski said the amendment would apply to nuisance dogs.

There have been problems with dogs in the past with people not that sensitive to how their dogs are impacting their neighbours, he said.

Councillors quickly assured the crowd that the amendment wouldn’t hurt pet owners but would only affect those who manage dogs for commercial reasons.

Coun. Roger Shott said in a perfect world there wouldn’t be any restrictions but as a council they have to make sure people’s rights were protected. He said they will have to go back and look over the definition some more before they reach a decision.

Neebing Mayor Ziggy Polkowski said they didn’t want to put pet owners through any more hoops.

“It was never ever councils’ intention to hurt pet owners,” Polkowski said. “We have to find somehow the definition of how many dogs can be pets and how many dogs will really hurt your neighbours. There’s a lot of work we still have to do.”

Council will have another meeting on the issue on May 2.



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Quickdraw McGraw says:
the personal campaign against a neighbour with a kennel continues.......
4/18/2012 9:40:39 PM
realist says:
Neebing is trying to put a stop to puppymills and the residents are upset about that?

I applaud administration for taking the steps they have. Now if we could get the other municipalities on board with similar by-laws, we would be onto something.
4/18/2012 10:59:30 PM
hillbilly says:
It would be nice if all Neebing was doing was to put a stop to puppy mills. I ask have you bothered to read the proposed by-law attend the meetings possibly even read the story?
4/19/2012 12:45:43 AM
realist says:
Sometimes you have to "read between the lines" and "things are not always as they seem."

Sorry, hockey playoffs have me in cliche mode.
4/19/2012 11:30:03 AM
DocRiver says:
My sympathies are extended to the neighbouring waterfront property owners. Living next to or even 1/2km away from howling huskies is not quite the serenity of a distant echoing loon. Been there, lived the situation and moved away. Perhaps a 200 watt outdoor speaker system playing a recording at the opportune moment might help tune in the untuned!
4/19/2012 1:15:04 AM
hello?? says:
Puppy mill,your kidding!
4/19/2012 8:19:09 AM
humnchuck says:
"She said these bylaws threatened her heritage and her ability to enjoy her dogs."

That may or may not be the case, and perhaps Neebing's bylaw isn't well-planned. However, as DocRiver pointed out, what about her neighbours? At which point did Ms. Linton's "heritage" supercede the right of other nearby landowners to not hear 8 dogs barking? I'm assuming folks like Mr. Skochinski didn't purchase camps at Sturgeon Bay or Pine Bay or wherever to hear huskies howling all year round.
4/19/2012 8:34:21 AM
moonwolf says:
What a ridiculous ammendment. Having been a resident of Neebing I can attest to the "noisy" animals...howling wolves, yipping coyotes, screaming herons/foxes, and all those pesky birds!!!! I get a kick out of people who move into the wilderness, expect to be able to let their children play, unattended, complain about the smell on farmers fields, freak out when the deer and rabbits eat their gardens, throw a fit when the neighbours rooster crows at 3 AM. City people who move to the country and want to change everything should really, just stay in the city!!!
4/19/2012 10:17:11 AM
really?? says:
"In total, Linton owns six sled dogs as well as a golden retriever and a pug. She said they move out to the community to spent time with their dogs and play with them."
Sled dogs don't get along - so would not play together - they fight each other. The golden retreiver and the pug would be dead if they were to try to play with these animals. Be real. Be honest - howling huskies - the echo on the water would be intolerable. I know this, as I myself owned 6 malamutes - that I used for sledding - up north - at a tourist camp before moving to Thunder Bay. I could be across the lake on the island and here the dogs back at camp. Be kind to your neighbours - it goes a long way.
4/19/2012 10:43:41 AM
Sui Generis says:
Sled dogs don't get along? Where in the world did you get that ridiculous, and completely inaccurate, piece of information?

4/19/2012 12:12:34 PM
DougMyers says:
Ahh a little more info brings things into mor perspective.

I still think the approach is way over the top. However, if you are moving to the country to enjoy your sled dogs, perhaps residential waterfront lot was not the best choice.

A true rural lot would have been much more appropriate. No one wants to listen to that at their waterfront homes or summer home. I would be upset too if my summer time retreat had dogs barking while I try to enjoy the lake.
4/19/2012 11:48:07 AM
2sox says:
The "noisy" intolerable barking dogs cant be making all that much noise..there is a noise bylaw in neebing that has come into play from the complaints about the noise made by the sled dogs. So far no complaints or fines being handed out for the barking of the dogs. I guess thats why since that didnt work out so good, they have moved on to target the number they have. what may be next???
4/19/2012 12:17:08 PM
albertabound says:
This whole this is blown out of proportion. Why should the rest of the residents of Neebing have to suffer because of a few people that can't get along. There is a noise byalaw in place! Use it!!
Let the police handle it as they are trained to.
The Neebing Council has better things to do as they say they are over worked instead of trying to play junior lawyers! Kill this stupid byalaw and get to work like you are paid too. Why do this councilers that are voted in by the people always think they can go on some kind of power trip! Remember who pays you and who can vote your butt out of office next year!!
4/19/2012 12:20:16 PM
really?? says:
@ realist
Neebing is trying to put a stop to puppymills and the residents are upset about that?

I don't think they are running a puppy mill - these dogs are being used for sledding. I agree with the neighbours, but there is no information to lead us to believe that they are breeding the dogs. They have six - the amount you need to run a small sled. I feel for all of you out there - I too have a distant neighbour who have 2 large dogs protecting their property(fenced, and not a threat/danger to society at all) But I hear them barking at whatever is in the bush - it's annoying when you are trying to sleep. Good luck !
4/19/2012 12:59:52 PM
bulldog says:
This woman may not be a puppy mill - but there are plenty of puppymills in Neebing.
4/19/2012 4:39:04 PM
Don Skochinski says:
It is important to understand that 18 of 25 households contacted Neebing council immediately after 8 dogs were installed on the Linton/Lentz household this fall within weeks. How this household continues to repeat the "no one has complained" mantra is both untrue and insenstive. Neebing council participated in a mediation session after 18 of 25 households lodged both concerns about noise and safety. If people are going to mislead the media then others will be there to correct this lack of presenting the facts.
4/19/2012 7:26:27 PM
hillbilly says:
I cannot for the life of me figure out what people are running their mouths about on here and at the meeting the noise issue was forced through by these seasonal residents. But to provide clarification the dog owners have on multiple times came to meeting with attempts to solve this issue. The people with the complaint keep coming back to the issue of noise bothering them when trying to sleep there words last night the dogs bark when they are not home this is during the day time it was stated the dogs are boarded out during the summer so unless these "seasonal" residents sleep with the window open during the day in January whats is the issue.
But the issue of dog noise is a done deal but no charges or complaints except against a rooster have been laid to the best of my knowledge.
This meeting was about "THE NUMBER OF DOG'S OVER 6 MONTHS OLD A PERSON CAN OWN" so I am not sure how this has become another yammer fest on noise
4/19/2012 8:46:32 PM
crudge says:
To hillbilly....I keep saying over and over, I am not seasonal, full time, retired, there every day. Having said that yes it is an issue of proximity and location which encompasses noise. These dogs are feet away from a bedroom window, These people were using their property a lot, winter, summer, year round till it became unbearable. As far as "solve the issue" remove voice box...cmon!
To Doug Meyers...i agree, a rural lot would allow them to "live off the land"
To Hillbilly...i agree this has nothing to do with "puppy mills" but maybe council is trying to solve too many issues with one bylaw?
To 2sox...the noise bylaw is all but unenforcable....try sleeping and then the dogs start barking even if for a few minutes, then quiet down...then 2 hours later bark again....the bylaw does not cover this. U try to gather evidence by is tuff...and if u do u may be accused of disturbing the dogs making them bark?
Comments have more weight when a real name is attached.
4/23/2012 8:59:50 PM
Don Skochinski says:
As the battle of opinion rages on, I would suggest that some commentators need to have a dialogue with some members of council about ALL the issues. They are there to make Neebing a better place that is fair to all concerned not serve some pivileged few as some seem to suggesting. The sled dog issue on Memory Road has been the "straw on the camel's back" or the domino that has moved all these issues ahead. There is misinformation, as well as comments on this site and flyers with no one putting their name to it in many cases. What would reasonable, responsible and good neighbours do to resolve this you might ask? The diminutive "seasonal residents" is not accurate or respectful, the painting of people wanting quiet on a cottage property as "elitist" is insulting and only perpetuates some "grand conspiracy" that exists only in the mind of those suggesting it.
4/24/2012 3:30:53 PM
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