Neighbor battles animal shelter over noise - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Justin Hanson

Neighbor battles animal shelter over noise

It's been a long year for volunteers at the Fayette County Animal Rescue, who have been battling with a neighbor who says they are in violation of zoning and noise ordinances.

This past December, volunteers at the Fayette County Animal Rescue saved 26 cocker spaniels.  Now the center is in danger of closing because a neighbor says the animals are too noisy. 

“I think our civil rights have been violated and our right to a little peace and quiet in our own home and our own property," said Lance Huff, who lives close to the shelter.

Huff says at times, he's recorded the noise level as high as 105 decibels. 
 
“He started this about a year ago, and he's been trying to shut us down," said Gina Thweatt, President of Fayette County Animal Rescue. "He just has some complaints about the noise, and we've been here ten years, as long as he's been here and we've had no complaints from neighbors before.”

Thweatt said the shelter provides a public service to the citizens of Fayette county.  Volunteers at the animal rescue center say they do not receive any funding from the county and operate as a non profit organization.
 
“When she started, the owner of the property, Delores Provo, did ask if she had to have a permit and was told she did not," Thweatt said. "We've been out in the open, people know about us, we have a lot of support from the community and we're not trying to hide anything.”

Huff says if the animals are allowed to stay, his property value will drop.

“It reduces the quality of life for all neighbors," he said. "Neighbors was never considered when she put this in.” 

The issue will be discussed during the Fayette County Board of zoning appeals meeting Tuesday night.  If the board finds them in violation of any ordinances, rescue volunteers say they will file an injunction to keep the dogs.


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