Culpeper County’s Board of Supervisors voted to approve a controversial request for a conditional use permit for a dog kennel in the Stevensburg District Tuesday evening.
The request by Emmanuel and Corrie Warren was for a 57.8 acre property on 662 Kibler Road for a dog breeding operation.
The Warrens previously attempted to open a business in Fauquier in 2016 before pulling their application to the Fauquier County Board of Supervisors over concerns that they would be operating a puppy mill.
In August of 2016, according to a report in the Fauquier Times, the Warrens withdrew their application to breed and sell therapy dogs on the advice of legal counsel.
In the Fauquier application, the Warrens asked to house and breed 65 adult dogs with 48 litters per year. The scope and scale of the application in Culpeper County was much smaller – just eight dogs – but still received outcry from dog lovers and animal rescue groups.
A crowd of nearly 75 stayed after the public comments on the immigration program 287 (g) to weigh in on the Warrens proposed operation.
Emmanuel Warren ensured the board that operation would be up to code and humane, noting the “luxury” kennel will be situated in a 10,000 square foot prefabricated building containing eight rooms with hear, air conditioning, doggy doors and automated water and feed bottles.
The Warrens agreed to the conditions the Culpeper County Planning Commission had put in place when they approved the request by a 4-3 vote in November.
“We are happy to be inspected on a regular basis,” said Corrie Warren. “We want to be good neighbors, we really do.”
Neighbors expressed concern about the noise that eight dogs would make, and the environmental impact that nearly a ton of dog feces that would be created by the puppies.
Another point of contention was the request for eight “breeding dogs,” with many in the public asking where were the male dogs going to come from.
The Warrens explained that they simply asked for eight breeding dogs, never specifying what sex the dogs were.
Patty Werick, President of the Culpeper Humane Society, spoke out against the kennel and breeding operation.
“We do have grave concerns about this if it passed,” Werick said.
Liz Dubenitz, Culpeper People for Pets Foundation President, expressed concern about the method of which people would purchase the puppy. The Warrens stated that many of the customers would be from out of state and would video chat to see the puppy, as a way to minimize traffic into the location.
“If you wanted to purchase a puppy, wouldn’t you want to visit it to see where it came from,” Dubenitz said. “There must be some oversight here.”
There were even more people in support of the Warrens, as many church members stepped up to speak about their integrity and character. Amanda Moser said she’s known them for about 15 years and was excited to see they were coming to Culpeper. “They breed healthy dogs,” she said.
Stevensburg District Supervisor Bill Chase made the motion to approve, saying some of the concerns were a bit much.
“We’re becoming to cityfied,” Chase said.
Jefferson District Supervisor Brad Rosenberger said that the facility could be inspected quarterly to help alleviate the fears of the community.
After the public hearing, the vote passed 7-0.