Neighbors 'howl' over new Ranch residents

July 21, 2008 4:05:54 PM PDT
The Second Chance Ranch in Royersford has a mission to help horses in need, but now, the shelter is expanding the variety of the four-legged friends who live here. The Last Chance Ranch is an animal rescue that has been protecting and caring for all kinds of unwanted and abused farm animals for the last 20 years.

Lately though, they've been taking in unwanted dogs, as well, and keeping them inside an old airplane hangar that has been converted into a small kennel.

That location though is apparently part of the problem.

"The whole one side of the building can open up and that creates an amphitheater so when dogs go into barking mode, we have surround sound plus," Janice Grim of Richland Township said.

Grim has been leading the charge against the shelter saying not only is it too loud, but the ranch doesn't even have the proper permits to run a dog kennel.

But Lori McCutcheon, owner of the Last Chance Ranch, says it has always been her policy to take in any unwanted animals.

"If they need us, we'll help them" McCutcheon said.

McCutcheon says between her roosters, pigs, horses and goats, the dogs make up only a fraction of the ranch's noise output, but nobody ever complained before.

She says she never had a problem with her neighbors in the past and thinks it's unfortunate that they went to the township before speaking with her.

"I welcome all the neighbors to go come over here and talk to us and if they have a complaint and they think that something should be different, they should come over to tell us and we'll fix it," McCutcheon said.

Both sides have made their cases to the township and local officials have decided to allow the ranch to keep the kennel for now, but on August 11, the township supervisors will decide whether they'll grant a kennel permit or shut down this dog rescue operation for good.