Dog breeder scheduled to make special request

TIPPECANOE COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI) – A controversial dog breeder in Tippecanoe County is scheduled to go back before county officials with another special request.

Randy Sanders has been breeding border collies at his Tippecanoe County home for decades. In the latest in a long line of filings, Sanders will ask the Board of Zoning Appeals next week for a special exception because his building is not up to county code.

Code states he needs a mechanical ventilation system and temperature control inside the building. Code also requires the building be sound proof because it is too close to the road.

Sanders said his requests will be passed, but the staff report is suggesting otherwise.

“It will get granted,” Sanders said. “I’m positive it will be granted. There’s no reason for it not to.”

“We have recommended denial of both variances as well as the special exception,” area planner Bianca Zaklikowski said.

Zaklikowski said there are several reasons staff are asking the board to deny the request.

“There has been significant Health Department concerns about Mr. Sanders’ operation,” Zaklikowski said about the reasoning behind the recommendation. “Like I mentioned, the barn is a public health hazard. It was declared that by our county health officer in 2012. There are concerns about not ventilating the building that has potential for public health issues.”

While the BZA focuses on ordinances, one woman is trying to gain support to close the kennel all together.

“The ultimate goal is to eliminate suffering of the numerous border collies that are on that property that never see sunlight, are never socialized, and do not have their physical met,” Jennifer Emmert said. “That is the overarching goal and we will not stop until we accomplish it quite honestly.”

Emmert lives near Sanders and said she has seen dogs underweight, chained to short leashes and standing in dirty kennels.
Sanders would not let us see the kennel, but said that’s not true.

“The one thing I want to emphasize is that I am not a puppy mill and I do not like puppy mills any better than anybody else does. I am a breeder of champion border collies,” Sanders said.

Emmert said many people will be at the BZA meeting next week to express their concerns about the business.

“We have to shut down the puppy mill,” Emmert said.

“I am 66. I’ve been here since I was three weeks old and it’s going to take more than that to get me off this place,” Sanders said.

The public meeting is May 28 at 7 p.m. in the Tippecanoe County building.

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