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Canis Maximus submits second application for a special permit to operate a kennel

Thursday, Apr. 11 | By James Pinsky
Irina Barrett is at it again, and her opponents are howling mad.

The owner of Canis Maximus Kennels has reapplied for a special exception permit to operate a kennel on her property at 6205 Beverleys Mill Road in Broad Run.

Barrett withdrew her original application on April 4 during the public hearing at the Board of Zoning Appeals.

"We withdrew the application because there's a lot of misinformation out there, and we need to work with the community to clear that up," said Jack Wilson, attorney for Barrett.

From the more than 20 emails Fauquier County planner Don Del Rosso has already received in opposition of the Barrett application since its April 8 filing, Wilson and Barrett have their work cut out for them.

Twenty-year Fauquier resident Jean Francis wrote:
"It is with great concern for the welfare of the dogs in Ms. Barrett's care that I implore you to disallow the application she has re-submitted which would allow zoning for her to continue with her inhumane practices."

Barrett's two-legged opponents come from outside the county as well.

Lynda Hall Drake wrote:
"I live in Loudoun County not Fauquier County, but believe it doesn't matter where a person lives if animals are at risk."

Drake, herself a volunteer for DARE, Doberman Assistance Rescue and Education, blasted Barrett's commitment to animal welfare in her two-page email.

"Permission to breed animals should not be given to this person. She should not make a dime to treat innocent animals this way. I think she should be prosecuted and arrested after reading the report of just how she treats animals. It is a horror story!"

Drake goes so far as to say she thinks Barrett shouldn't even be allowed to have a pet in the email.

Another email alerted the county that residents in the region are watching for Barrett to reapply and when she did, they're ready to oppose her application.

Kathy Prunty wrote in her email to the county:
"Perhaps, she thought no one would notice, but she has since submitted another application."

The county certainly noticed.

On April 10, Fauquier County countered Barrett's move when the Department of Community Development filed an official notice of zoning violation and corrective order for operating a kennel in the RA and RC zoning district with special permit and site plan approval.

In the violation the county lists two corrective actions required:

*Discontinue keeping dogs for commercial purpose, which includes breeding

*Reduce the number of dogs on your property to 12 or less and keeping them penned or restrained so as to not roam nearer than 40 feet from any property line.

According to the violation, Barrett has seven days from the date of the letter, April 10, to comply or the county will either forward the matter to the County Attorney's Office, or the county may begin imposing civil fines of $200 for the first infraction and $500 each 10 days thereafter. The maximum fine according to the letter is $5000.

The kennel has been the subject of intense public scrutiny after a scathing Jan 12 six-page report by Fauquier County Humane Investigator, Hilleary Bogley, went viral on the Internet.

Bogley's visit to the kennel was sparked by an anonymous call about problems with noise at Barrett's address.

The report, which totals more than six pages, cites numerous cases of alleged animal neglect and abuse including Barrett admitting to Bogley that she allowed two litters of puppies to starve to death while under her care because the puppy's mother did not produce milk.
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