41°F
weather icon Clear

Pahrump breeder plans to convert garage for 30-dog kennel

Updated January 26, 2023 - 7:42 am

A local breeder plans to convert an Oakridge Avenue garage into a dog kennel that could house as many as 30 German Shepherds at any given time.

The plan follows initial approval earlier this month from Pahrump Regional Planning commissioners despite an objection from at least one neighbor who urged them to find a site outside of their residential neighborhood.

Courtney Baca, owner of Baca German Shepherds, told planning officials that the dogs will be contained mostly indoors. A 4.5-foot tall fence around the property will safely divide the dogs from neighbors, she said.

“I would never let my dogs outside unattended,” Baca said, adding that she would not want them to be a nuisance to anyone.

All puppies at the kennel would have to be off-boarded before they turn 6 months old, according to a condition imposed by local planners, who aimed to curb potential problems with overpopulation.

Baca addressed those concerns, saying she was a responsible breeder and would reach out to officials if she needed help.

“I’m not going to over-breed dogs,” Baca said at a hearing for the operation earlier this month.

Animal crisis

Nye County faced an animal-overpopulation crisis last summer when more than 300 dogs were seized at a breeding kennel in Amargosa after being found in poor conditions. That kennel had started in Pahrump, said Nye County Planning Director Brett Waggoner, before relocating to Amargosa following four years of complaints and pushback from neighbors and officials.

“The problem just got bigger, bigger and bigger,” Waggoner said. “They moved out there and it just got worse.”

While initially permitted to care for 30 dogs, the breeders of the embattled kennel were found to be maintaining up to 150 dogs on their property in early 2020. When hundreds of their dogs were seized in Amargosa in August 2022, it overwhelmed the county’s new $4.1 million, 9,000-square-foot animal shelter that had just been open for days.

Volunteers, animal advocates and others intervened to provide care and temporary shelter for the dogs.

But Baca said her operation’s breeding schedules align with her clients’ needs to insure they do not have “extra puppies.”

“We don’t let our dogs go to pounds or shelters,” she said.

Instead, Baca says she largely works with veterans to pair them with German Shepherds who can assist them.

Former Nye County Commissioner John Koenig spoke in support of the proposed kennel, saying that Baca’s operation should not be penalized because of one irresponsible dog breeder.

“We’ve approved many other breeders in town and many of them are successful,” Koenig said. “Don’t let one guy – who was probably the worst person in the world to own a dog – sour it for everyone else.”

Neighbors of the proposed kennel on Oakridge Avenue spoke out against the plan in a letter to the Nye County Planning Department.

“We purchased this land to build a retirement home and enjoy retirement in Pahrump,” wrote one neighbor in a letter filed with the kennel’s business plan. They urged planning commissioners to help find a more suitable site for the kennel that wasn’t in their established residential neighborhood.

Contact Editor Brent Schanding at bschanding@pvtimes.com

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
THE LATEST
Couple found dead from apparent murder-suicide in Death Valley park

An elderly husband allegedly shot and killed his elderly wife who was suffering from severe health problems before turning the gun on himself at Death Valley National Park in an apparent act of murder-suicide, according to a park officials.

Lombardo raises nearly $2M after winning election

Many companies that donated only to former Gov. Steve Sisolak suddenly opened their checkbooks once Joe Lombardo won the governor’s race in November.

PARTY AT THE FARM: 3rd Annual “Fun”draiser set for Nature Health Farms

Alex D’Jon purchased land to establish a rural venture in Pahrump in 2019 and area residents will be able to check out all Nature Health Farms has to offer this Saturday during the 3rd Annual Nature Health Farms “Fun”draiser.

Sheriff: ‘Smear campaign’ targets Nye County Captain David Boruchowitz

Nye County Sheriff Joe McGill is defending the actions of Capt. David Boruchowitz, saying the officer has endured an ongoing “smear campaign” ever since Boruchowitz arrested a belligerent attendee at a local school board meeting last spring.

Horizon Market worker charged with embezzlement

A Pahrump worker is facing an embezzlement charge after deputies say they viewed a video of the man taking money from his employer’s cash register before fleeing last fall.

Nevadans will no longer go to jail for minor traffic offenses

The new state law decriminalizes minor traffic violations, making them civil infractions and ending the widespread practice of issuing warrants when a driver fails to pay their tickets.

5th Annual Veterans Extravaganza set for March

In the patriotic community of Pahrump, veterans are a valued part of the population and are regularly the focus of public events, from fundraisers and festivals to ceremonies and observances. One such event is geared specifically toward connecting the valley’s former military members with much-needed resources and residents will soon have the chance to check out all that will be on exhibit during this year’s Veterans Extravaganza.