New details out on the debate over Nittany Greyhounds. A dog boarding facility, that takes in former Greyhound racing dogs, and tries to find them a new home.
At first they were allowed to keep their organization running, but now, a new appeal has been upheld, and could set in motion the closing of the kennel.
Nittany Greyhounds has been around for four years. At first they just brought in the Greyhounds, but three years ago they started boarding other dogs. Toni Duchi is on the Nittany Greyhounds board, she says that the Greyhounds come first.
"We are a rescue kennel first and foremost, that's what we do...we deserve that opportunity to continue doing that, as far as the boarding customers, we have a great business here, it helps to pay our bills."
Nittany Greyhounds is classified as a "home-based" business. They have two to three compensated employees, that live on-site, with the rest of the staff slated as volunteers. The Halfmoon Township Zoning Board says that complies with state regulations.
We met with Don Houtz, the neighbor who filed the complaint. He's a self-proclaimed dog lover, and claims he owns dogs himself. He wouldn't be interviewed on camera, but said they're operating as a commercial kennel without going through the correct processes. It was his appeal that got upheld by the zoning board. He owns the land around Nittany Greyhounds, and the driveway up to it.
Houtz says if an accident were to happen from a Nittany Greyhounds customer on his property, he'd be liable. He says all the other neighbors agree with him that the dog boarding business should be shut down. But Susan E. Steele, the zoning board's President says that while two others have voiced an opinion, Houtz is the only one that's officially taken action.
"They never filed a complaint with the township formally; the only one that has formally filed a complaint was one neighbor... "
The zoning board says that the using the boarding business to generate income for the Greyhound side, is a lot like firemen holding cookouts to bring in extra cash. They're still non-profit organizations, Duchi says they're both needed.
"...without the boarding business, we cannot operate our kennel, it pays our mortgage..."
The decision now goes to the Board's Attorney. Who'll decide what aspects of Nittany Greyhounds, if any, need to be analyzed or changed. Whatever they find, Steele says it could lead to legal action.
"If the Zoning Officer says no, it's all consistent, then that gentleman or neighbor that was complaining would have the right to appeal it further to a court."
The board also says that while the appeal's been upheld, that the case is far from over, they will continue to investigate.