The barking noise could be hardly heard from the remote Pahrump property, despite the large number of dogs that live on it.
For years, Vasili Platunov has been breeding Caucasian Ovcharka on his property tucked into the far southern Pahrump corner. But after the number of dogs spiked recently, he had to apply for reconsideration of a conditional use permit that would allow him to increase the number from the original 30.
After moving to Nevada from New York, Platunov, a long-time breeder, had a steady pack. The number quickly grew to 131 when people started dropping off their dogs. Now Platunov has dozens of kennels with Caucasian Ovcharkas, Turkish Kangal, Armenian Gampr and Georgian Nagazi that had been left there due to their age, behavioral issues or other reasons.
Oksana Higgins, operations manager at Platunov’s Est-Alfa K-9 Security Service, which specializes in providing professional canine security services, said that sometimes they receive calls from as far away as Canada.
“I believe about 4-5 years ago, people started bringing dogs to us because we were advertising that we will take dogs with bad behavior just for boarding or fostering or something because that breed is famous for their no tolerance to the strangers, so it’s always an issue for the people to find the place for the boarding when they are going on vacation or something,” Higgins said.
While young puppies can find homes within weeks, Higgins said typically they end up being stuck with older dogs because they are harder to get adopted.
“We are constantly looking for homes for dogs that we are not going to breed, because for security we don’t need that many (dogs). All we want (is) just to extend the amount on the license,” she said.
Among the services listed on Est-Alfa K-9 Security Service website are guard, patrol and detection dogs. According to the information posted on the website, Platunov started his professional career as a trainer for canine obedience and protection. He also served as a judge in dog shows in Russia, Estonia and Latvia prior to moving to the United States.
Last week, several Nye County officials toured Platunov’s property where they evaluated conditions and asked questions. Platunov is scheduled to appear in front of the Pahrump Regional Planning Commission in the coming weeks.
In 2010, the Pahrump Regional Planning Commission approved a conditional use permit that allowed a commercial kennel in the rural estates zoning district. Platunov had only 16 dogs at the time, according to the documents.
In the meantime, Higgins said they continue to care for all of the dogs that were brought to them over the years.
“I know each one’s personality. I know how each one would like to be hugged or for whom to wait when I’m coming in, so someone is going to jump at me from the back to give me a hug,” she said.
Contact reporter Daria Sokolova at firstname.lastname@example.org. Find her on Twitter: @dariasokolova77.