Gorham Town Supervisor recommends moratorium on dog breeding

In the wake of the last week of outcry over proposed plans for a commercial dog breeding facility for Gorham, NY, Town Supervisor Fred Lightfoote has suggested that the Town Board enact a moratorium on dog- breeding facilities.

People from all over the country have emailed and called the town to voice opposition to the board’s approval last week of a special use permit for dog breeders Curtis and Jolene Martin to open a large, wholesale commercial dog breeding facility that would house between 200 and 500 dogs.

A moratorium would temporarily halt further progress on such a facility, giving the town time to look at zoning laws and further consider the concerns of residents, not just for this project but moving forward as well.

The Gorham Town Board has set aside time before tomorrow’s budget meeting for people in the community to voice concerns.  Town Supervisor Fred Lightfoote said in a local news story that “he will begin the meeting by making a prepared statement about the dog breeding operation and the meeting will allow a designated time period for people to speak.”

Due to the large expected turnout, the meeting has been moved from the town hall to the Gorham Elementary School, 2705 Route 245. The meeting begins at 7:30 PM.

As I’ve said before, if you do not live in Gorham, you should not be attending the meeting. The people who live and work in this community need to be the ones discussing with their town officials about this proposed dog breeding facility. Time and space are limited, and should be given first to those people whom are directly affected by this issue.

If you are allowed the opportunity to speak – time will be limited due to the number of people on hand – be calm, be respectful and be informed. Do not show up with protest signs or placards; do not chant “No puppy mills!” or otherwise incite the emotion level; do not get up and ask “How could this happen?”. This is the time for clear, factual information to be shared in a reasonable manner.

And if you’re not from Gorham, please share your concerns via email or snail mail (seriously, write a letter). Then look for ways to battle animal cruelty in your own neighborhood. It’s happening everywhere.

The board members of Gorham, NY have been more than gracious in the midst of this situation, and are taking your concerns seriously. Please be respectful of the officials and the residents of the community, regardless of which side of the issue you’re on.

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