Rockingham County neighbors clash over dog training business

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ROCKINGHAM COUNTY, N.C. – The operator of a Rockingham County cemetery is putting the heat on her next door neighbor, who runs a dog training business out of her home.

Birgit Hall and her husband John own Alert K-9, where they train German shepherds and Belgian malinois for use by law enforcement. The business is next to Evergreen Memorial Garden cemetery.

The cemetery's vice president and operator, Dawn Williams is distributing petitions around town that call the dogs "potentially dangerous" and claim they're a hazard to neighbors' health because they may cause sleep deprivation.

She's asking for help to get rid of what she calls an "illegal" business.

Hall said she believes Williams does not like her. She said she and her husband have applied for a special use permit to continue training dogs at their home.

Williams said she believes the Halls are in violation of county zoning ordinances because the land is zoned RA (residential agricultural) and should be farm land, not a place where a business is run.

The Rockingham County Planning Board will hear the special use permit request on April 8 in Wentworth.