NEWS/ REGION — The neighbours were there, the Thompson-Nicola Regional District board was there, but a scheduled delegation from the Angel’s Animal Rescue Shelter near Merritt didn’t show up today.
Judanna Dawn-Caros, who owns and operates the shelter, and one of her volunteers was to appear before the board to response to concerns by neighbours about noise from barking dogs, and to ask the board for a discounted rate for disposal of dog feces.
Chair Bill Humphrey said word had come shortly before the meeting that Dawn-Caros wouldn’t be there after all. Some directors were displeased at the lack of notice, but Lower Nicola director Randy Murray said there seemed to be some misunderstanding on Dawn-Caros’ part about confirmation of the date.
He said he has now received about 60 videos from neighbours of the shelter that indicate excessive barking coming from the shelter at all hours of the day and night.
Director Steven Rice said the neighbours have been there a long time and the effect of noise on property values is a real concern.
Other directors suggested everything from bringing in an animal behaviour expert to putting a cap on the number of dogs that can be sheltered at one time.
Dawn-Caros has previously said the neighbours are being “negative,” while neighbours say attempts to resolve the issue have failed. The TNRD board expects to receive a report from staff within a few weeks on a possible a noise bylaw.
In her written delegation request, Dawn-Caros said she wanted to ask the board to “allow lenience” with respect to the pending noise bylaw.
“AARS has legal zoning for its purposes, is located on 27 acres, has support by neighbours closest to our facility and by all accounts have created practices to gain tolerance among those that live near AARS such as visiting hours, bedtime hours, surveys as to changes the community would respect and so on.”
She also asked for consideration of a special rate for waste disposal because of the service provided by the shelter in caring for animals and finding new homes for them.
Dawn-Caros said the shelter uses the refuse site about once a week and pays $20 per visit.