Puppy production: Community concerned over applications for dog breeding kennels

Adelaide Plains Council has received a flood of applications and unprecedented opposition against two proposed dog breeding kennels which could house a combined 300 dogs on the outskirts of Two Wells.

One application, for 14 Coats Road by Vlad Kasminin, outlines the construction of 74 kennels with up to 200 dogs, while another, by Andrey Rozhkov at 2 Wheller Road, wants to erect 40 kennels and keep up to 100 dogs.

Both sites sit within the council’s animal husbandry zone, which allows dog kennelling in higher numbers.

Social media went into overdrive once the applications became public, with thousands of comments shaming the “puppy factory-like” proposal and hundreds sending in responses against the applications.

However, when the Plains Producer approached Mr Kasminin for comment he denied his development was a “puppy farm” and was more than happy to speak about his application.

“We’re located in this zone where this is completely the sort of development the council wants to see here,” he said.

“This is what the council wants to see in this area, they don’t want to see high density housing.”

Mr Kasminin denied claims his application was non-compliant, saying he bred all sorts of small dogs and hoped one day in the future to possibly incorporate a pet shop.

“My doors are open, I’ve got nothing to hide,” he said.

“What my puppies have, people don’t have.

“They have full irrigation and sprinkler systems, soakage pits and 15 square metres of space per dog.

“That’s three times the requirement, and more than an average 3×3 metre bedroom.

“The dogs have more freedom than I have.”

Currently working as a roofing contractor, Mr Kasminin said he would hire up to five people to look after the dogs and believed it was a positive development for the area.

“This is the community I want my children growing up in,” he said.

“It’s what I like doing.”

RSPCA chief executive officer, Paul Stevenson, spoke on air last week, saying the organisation was “horrified” at the proposal.

“The state government defines a large breeding facility as one that has six breeding or lactating dogs, so this is a massive facility being proposed,” Mr Stevenson said.

“When you look at the characteristics we’re seeing in puppy factories, they are large scale, producing a lot of animals, with animals that are not getting appropriate enrichment and care, and that’s what happens when you get so many animals.”

Mr Stevenson said the facility would need to run permanently, seven days a week, 24 hours a day, to care for that number of animals adequately.

“Let’s face it, these people are doing it just because there is so much money to be made in puppies now,” he said.

“The animals in this proposed facility are going to spend their whole lives in a concrete floor kennel, probably with corrugated sides and roof, behind wire mesh, getting very little exercise from what we can determine from the plans, very little enrichment, and just being bred, and being forced to produce litters again and again for their whole lives until they are too old to breed; it’s a horrible existence.”

APC CEO, James Miller, said council had noted recent media and public interest in relation to the applications and would consider them in coming weeks.

“Public notification is an important part of the development assessment process and council welcomes community input, which will be considered by the Council Assessment Panel in due course,” Mr Miller said.

APC did not confirm the number of applications against the development it had received but some media reports suggest it is as high as 1700, with others saying it was thousands.

A local Coats Road resident, who wished to remain anonymous, submitted an application opposing the kennels, saying the development goes against the animal husbandry area’s own definition.

“Our number one concern is the welfare of the dogs and the puppies, as the plans submitted do not have air conditioning in the kennels, and we’re going into summer, where temperatures can reach the high 40s,” the resident stated.

“Those dogs don’t have a voice, we have to stand up for them.

“The sheer number of what is proposed is not in line with the animal husbandry zone, it does not meet the requirements as it is not a small home-based business.

“This type of facility is just in it for the money.

“That’s the difference between a reputable breeder and one like this application is outlining.

As well as animal welfare, the resident said those who lived on Coats Road were also concerned about noise pollution, potential for disease and vermin, storage and removal of urine and faeces, and odour, as well as the quality of life of the dogs, degradation of the road, and the potential impact to nearby residents, particularly those who worked shift work.

“This application of up to 200 dogs is one of the biggest Adelaide Plains Council has received to date,” the resident said.

“It is by no means a small scale, low impact home-based business and by law, this number of dogs would require hiring of certified handlers.

“Even though it is zoned animal husbandry, people still have to live here, and not everyone loves dogs.

“This can destroy a neighbourhood.”

Animal welfare groups were quick to reach out on social media, urging people to lodge applications against the development of the breeding kennels.

“It doesn’t matter how clean a kennel looks or how well these people tell us their dogs are looked after, these dogs are still used as breeding machines for financial gain until they are no longer profitable,” Cavalier Rescue stated on their Facebook page.

“We eagerly await the outcome of the development proposals.”

Sydney-based Golden Retriever Rescue’s Facebook page also got behind the cause, advising people to buy puppies only from reputable breeders.

“These applications may still be approved so the public needs to be informed not to purchase puppies from pet shops or the internet and certainly not from facilities that house hundreds of dogs for breeding purposes for the sole reason of making money,” the site stated.

Lewiston resident Lauren Manning has backed the call for “puppy farms” to be shut down.

“I am totally against a puppy farm opening as the health and wellbeing of the animals is never in their best interests when it comes to these places,” Lauren said.

Both kennel applications are due to be heard by APC’s assessment panel next month.