By Linda Kor
A kennel owner currently under investigation by the Town of Taylor has submitted a request for a conditional use permit in Apache County in order to open a kennel in that county.
Last March the Snowflake/Taylor Police Department executed a search warrant at Windflower Ranch Kennels in Taylor, a facility owned by John Banker. STPD Animal Control, with the assistance of Navajo County Animal Control, removed four dogs from the property due to their health conditions, two of which eventually had to be put down by animal control officers.
The STPD investigation into the kennel began last October when it was discovered by law enforcement that Banker had 93 dogs and puppies at his kennel that were not vaccinated or licensed. Banker was cited with 92 counts of Taylor Town Code violations for having unlicensed dogs, a Class 1 misdemeanor.
At the time Banker was being cited he denied a request by the officer to look at the back portion of his property where it had been reported that there was an open pit where deceased dogs were being discarded. Banker also denied having the pit.
According to STPD Chief Jerry VanWinkle, Banker has since removed approximately 50 dogs from the kennel, but has kept approximately 40 others.
The request for a permit will go before the Apache County Planning and Zoning Commission at 1 p.m. on Thursday, June 6, at the Apache County Annex Building, located at 75 W. Cleveland St. in St. Johns According to a notice sent out by Milton Ollerton, the director of community development for Apache County, the request submitted by Banker and Tilomatta Star is for a facility in Vernon, and states there will be 43 dogs, including Scottish terriers, Newfoundlands and Kuvasxzok breeds, housed at the kennel. The plans also call for four outdoor dog runs.
Ollerton noted that his department is aware
that the perspective buyers presently have a kennel in Taylor and are moving because the neighborhood does not want the kennel there.
Individual interested in sending letters for the commission to consider before the June 6 meeting may do so by writing Milton Ollerton, Director of Community Development, P.O. Box 238, St. Johns, Ariz. 85936.
Once the commission makes its decision, its recommendation will go to the Apache County Board of Supervisors for review.
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By Linda Kor