Ruff Love Rescue’s fate could be determined Tuesday night

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A dog at Ruff Love Rescue. (WGHP)

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DAVIDSON COUNTY, N.C. -- The fate of an animal rescue in Davidson County could be determined Tuesday night. Complaints from neighbors almost two years ago led the county to determine that Ruff Love Rescue in Thomasville was violating zoning rules by operating as a commercial kennel in a residential area.

Tonight, commissioners have the opportunity to change the rules so that the rescue can stay. Sue Rogers is the rescue’s president. She says they’ve been operating on her property for 18 years.

“This is what I love to do,” Rogers said. “This is my passion. This is my heart.”

Guy Cornman is the planning director for Davidson County. He says the commissioners can change the zoning rules by approving a text amendment at Tuesday night’s meeting at the Governmental Center in Lexington.

“This will affect all the properties in Davidson County so we have to think about that,” Cornman said.

Cornman says commissioners have three options tonight. They can exempt the rescue from the zoning rules because the organization is a nonprofit. They can change the rules to allow the shelter because it’s in a rural area, but require it to meet certain standards, like limiting intake. Commissioners can also decide not to change the rules.

“Anything the county wants to do to help our situation or help any situation, I am all for it,” Rogers said. “I will step in and do what I can.”

Chris Halker lives across the street from Rogers. He says that his family and other neighbors don’t want the rescue near their home.

“We do not hate dogs,” Halker said. “I think she does a good job, but I think she just does it in the wrong place.”

Halker says neighbors have complained about things like barking, dogs getting loose and smells in the area.

Rogers says she will appeal her violation to the superior courts if the commissioners do not make any amendments to allow her rescue to keep operating where it is.

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