BARABOO, Wis. (WMTV)-- A Sauk County committee unanimously approved the conditional use permit of a dog breeding facility in Spring Green on Tuesday.
In a public hearing, those both for and against the request shared their opinions over the course of two hours.
The facility will breed dogs to sell for medical research which many residents expressed opposition against.
"If you approve this conditional use permit, you're approving a puppy mill," said Rebekah Klemm, founder of Dane4Dogs.
Wisconsin State Director of the Human Society Megan Nicholson also referred to the facility as a puppy mill.
"These dogs are destined to live short lives in cages and most, if not all, will be killed after the end of the experiments," Nicholson said.
The Sauk County Land Resources and Environment Committee approved the permit with 16 conditions in order to operate the facility.
The Spring Green Town Board initially recommended to approve the permit. On July 17, it reversed its decision and recommended to deny the permit after learning the owners, Dr. Jill and Clinton Kane, planned to sell the dogs for medical testing.
People living near the proposed facility not only spoke against animal testing, they also voiced concerns over noise, odor and potential groundwater contamination from a large number of dogs.
Initial staff findings of the permit request show 135 large breed hounds will remain indoors at all times, and there will not be any outside runs or exercise areas at the facility. At Tuesday's hearing, the Kanes said the dogs do have exercise requirements and have a chance to get out of their kennels and do a free run indoors.
The Land Resources and Environment Committee said the Kanes have already started the dog breeding facility with 8 adult dogs without authorization.
Dr. Jill Janssen Kane said they did not mean to go out of compliance by starting the kennel. She said they have not specifically sold any dogs which meet the criteria.
She said as a veterinarian she loves the dogs and they are treated fairly. She added that the dogs at the facility are service dogs and helping everyone who needs medical procedures.
“My husband and I feel we are well qualified," said Dr. Jill Janssen Kane. "We feel that with my medical training and his environmental training, we make a good team to do this. It’s personal and I understand the concerns. I feel it’s important and it’s the law right now.”
Dr. Jill Janssen Kane and Clinton Kane also shared personal stories of family members who have benefited from medical research on dogs.
"With our background in animal science and veterinary science, we feel we can help make this process better and take care of these animals," said Clinton Kane.
The Sauk County Board of Adjustment will be meeting on July 25 to vote on a vegetated buffer of the dog breeding facility.