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Tuesday, December 5, 2023
Dec. 5, 2023

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Vancouver City Council updates code to allow dog day care

Vancouver council decision prompted by developer plan

By , Columbian staff writer

Dog kennels and shelters in Vancouver can now function as dog day cares following a decision earlier this week from the Vancouver City Council, which made several changes to restrictions on dog care facilities.

The changes allow kennels and shelters to function as dog day cares and established a limit for the maximum number of dogs at 175 for all kennels, including those offering day care. Previously, there was no limit on the number of dogs allowed in kennels and a limit of 40 dogs per day care.

The changes also explicitly prohibit breeding and established a one-time fee for dogs deemed dangerous.

“(The code change) allows dog day care activities within kennels, allowing owners periodically needing day care and overnight boarding the opportunity to do so at a single destination,” a city memo states.

Developer request

Earlier this year, a developer proposed the code changes in order to build a Dogtopia, which would act as a dog shelter and day care. The developer requested that the city consider updating its code to “modernize the use code with modern business practices,” according to a December 2022 letter from the developer’s attorney to the city.

The developer requested allowing combined dog kennels and day cares, and setting the limit of dogs at 175. This week, the council did that, although Clark County Animal Control reserves the right to lower this limit on facilities on a case-by-case basis.

“Allowing increased access to this land use has the potential to provide more convenience to residents to have dog day care access in a convenient location on their way to and from work while also having the potential to be near other retail to facilitate multi-purpose trips,” the letter states.

Dog shelters follow stringent regulations, including an annual licensing process and regular visits from Clark County Animal Control to ensure facilities are up to safety and health codes, according to city documents.

The council also added a clause that requires owners of “potentially dangerous” dogs to pay a one-time $200 license fee.

“If after three years from the date of declaration, no additional violations or dangerous behavior has been reported, the owner may petition to have the dog removed from the list,” the ordinance states.

The council also explicitly prohibited breeding at any of these facilities, and approved a requirement for kennels to have an emergency evacuation plan.

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Columbian staff writer