A Spring Green couple has been given the green light to breed dogs for medical research at an old agricultural site in Sauk County.
The approval from the county’s Land Resources and Environment Committee came Tuesday afternoon, allowing Clinton and Jill Kane to breed and board hundreds to thousands of coon hounds for medical research. The decision was made despite the town of Spring Green’s recommendation not to approve the permit earlier this month.
Some members of the committee expressed ethical concerns with the business, but concluded that the Kanes met all necessary ordinance requirements.
“I think all of our board members understand that this is very emotional for the community,” said committee member Chuck Whitsell. “It was a tough decision.”
Whitsell said the committee was advised by the county’s lawyer to rely on only the legal requirements to guide the decision and not the personal beliefs of the committee members.
Members of the public who were at the hearing on Tuesday were visibly upset after the decision, according to those in attendance.
“County officials squandered an opportunity to take a stand against the extreme cruelty,” said representatives from PETA, an animal rights group that has been involved in the opposition to the business. “This is wrong for the animals, who aren’t laboratory equipment.”
The Kanes applied for a permit in May to operate two dog-breeding facilities, one in the town of Spring Green and another in the village of Spring Green.
Last week, the village of Spring Green denied a request by the Kanes to operate one of the facilities at their home. That facility would have been used to breed and house puppies until they were mature enough to move to the larger, just-approved, facility.
“Both the purpose and the sale was not what was intended in the original ordinance,” said Joel Marus, chairman of the village’s Planning Commission.
The Kanes will likely appeal the village’s decision, according to their attorney, Michael Curran. He added that regardless of the outcome, the Kanes would still be able to operate with just one facility.
Sauk County gave the Kanes a list of requirements that must be met within 365 days before they are allowed to sell the dogs, according to Whitsell.
“They’ve got work to do,” Whitsell said.