Zoning Board Denies Permit Request for Dog Breeding Facility

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The Winnebago County Zoning Board is recommending that Randall and Deborah Henson should not be granted a special use permit, to breed French Bulldogs at their Auburn Street home.

The zoning board originally approved the proposal, but changed their minds after Randall changed his answer  to a question of whether  or not he ever had any complaints regarding dogs on his property. His attorney, Ray Ferguson, says his client originally told the board he did not, because he was confused by the question.

Ferguson says, “It was actually a three part question, and they asked three in one. The first part was, ‘have you had any complaints about noise?’ He didn’t hear the last issue of the three part question.”

Local animal rights activists who packed the zoning board meeting have openly opposed the proposal, due to the Henson’s past charges of animal neglect.

Animal activist Kathy Mehalko says she’s pleased with the Board’s decision.

She says, “My fear is continued animal abuse. Recidivism is 56% when it comes to puppy mills.”

Ferguson says his clients have learned from their mistakes, and that their past should not stop them from being granted a permit.

He adds, “Clearly, this reversal is a denial of the fact that they’re getting personal and it’s the personal attacks and emails and the social media attacks that are reversing it. Not the use of the property at all,”

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