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Dog groomer told it can't board dogs; plans to apply for permit

Posted at 4:48 PM, Dec 31, 2019

GEORGETOWN TOWNSHIP, Mich. — At Captain K9, it's business as usual during the day. Dogs get a little TLC from a good grooming. But at night, the building is quieter than normal this time of year. Dog boarding is not authorized at the facility, according to Georgetown Township.

Captain K9 general manager Leah Swathwood said, "So we had gotten a letter in the mail just saying that we were not supposed to be boarding."

"We had to cancel the reservations that had already been booked," she said.

"With not having so many boarding facilities around we do book up fairly quickly, months in advance," Swathwood explained.

Code enforcement sent that letter just before Thanksgiving on Nov. 20. Swathwood says this presented a real inconvenience for some clients who had difficulty finding and vetting kennels with openings last minute around the holidays.

According to the letter from township code enforcement, the business must obtain a special land use permit but the permit only applies to kennels and not groomers.

"What my understand with the zoning (is) we have to be so far away from other businesses in order to be able to have dogs overnight," Swathwood said.

She says she and the owner then sought feedback from nearby businesses.

"Is this an inconvenience at all for us to be boarding dogs at night? Are they loud? Are they bothering you? Is there a smell? And everybody's been very supportive and they're like, 'Absolutely, if you want to board dogs that's cool,'" Swathwood said.

It's this feedback, along with signatures and input from community members, Captain K9 plans to present to the zoning board.

"We're really hoping to get the overnight boarding approved just to get more dogs, and we just want serve the community the best that we can," she said.

The business also started an online petition.

FOX 17 called the township Tuesday afternoon. However, township offices had closed at noon due to the holiday.