Two months ago the Fauquier County Board of Zoning Appeals held a public hearing on Irina Barrett’s application to operate a kennel on her property in Broad Run. An overwhelming response caused the BZA to vote to postpone a ruling until they had a chance to digest the 400 e-mail messages and supporting documents submitted by concerned citizens.
The vast majority of comments came from animal lovers and advocates who were horrified by the report issued by Fauquier County Humane Investigator Hilleary Bogley after an unannounced visit to Barrett’s property on January 12, 2013. Bogley was following up on an anonymous complaint.
Anyone who believes Barrett should be trusted to care for more than two dogs should read Bogley’s report, which is included in this post.
Now a local animal-welfare advocate reports that she received the following response this week from a county official when she asked about the status of Barrett’s application:
Mrs. Barrett withdrew her application last Thursday. However, she filed a new Special Permit application this morning to operate a commercial dog breeding business at the same location.
As Bogley’s report makes clear, Barrett has been operating a puppy mill for years. Barrett has confined dogs in carriers that are too small to allow them to stand up, then placed those carriers in windowless rooms with no light for periods of ten or 12 hours. Barrett has denied her confined dogs access to water and neglected to clean up their waste. Puppies have starved to death under her care. Her customers have discovered that Barrett’s dogs are often unhealthy and traumatized.
“Kennel” is not the correct term for the environment Barrett has presided over for years in Broad Run. “Puppy mill” is accurate but sounds euphemistic. If you were one of Barrett’s Dobermans, Boxers, or Great Danes, you’d choose a term like “concentration camp” or “death camp”.
If you don’t believe Barrett’s animal abuse is justified by her desire to make money, please e-mail Don DelRosso of the Board of Zoning Appeals and politely request that Fauquier County deny her the opportunity to inflict more suffering.