San Mar Kennels put on probationary status in bid for license renewal

NOW: San Mar Kennels put on probationary status in bid for license renewal

SOUTH BEND, Ind. - A St. Joseph County Humane Society inspection led to San Mar Kennels getting its kennel permit revoked. Wednesday, San Mar tried to appeal that revocation to the St. Joseph County Animal Control Commission.

The commission voted to put San Mar on a two-year probationary period with random checks by the St. Joseph County Humane Society.

"Oh, (we're) very pleased," said San Mar Attorney Bob Masters. "The commission's decision today allows San Mar Kennels to stay in business and continue to are for the dogs for which it's cared for the better part of four decades."

The commission heard arguments both for and against the permit reinstatement before coming to that decision.

Those for reinstatement said the kennel is clean and they would not trust anyone else to take care of their dogs.

"I was making constant trips from Plymouth down to Indianapolis," said the owner of three dogs whose husband was terminally ill in Indianapolis. "In the middle of the night, if I called (San Mar owner) Sandy, she would answer the phone and she would say 'yes. Bring (your dogs) up any time whenever you need it, they're here, and they can stay as long as you want."

Those opposed to the reinstatement said the conditions there were inhumane and that the improvements San Mar said it has made are not good enough.

"I believe that (the dogs) weren't living in good circumstances," said Sarah Hull who volunteered at San Mar for more than six years. "They were living in a hoarding situation, and it wasn't clean. They never got love attention. They never saw the light of day."

Hull said she saw the poor living conditions in which the dogs were living when she volunteered but could not do much to raise the alarm.

"I did repeatedly come forward, and that's when I was told to mind my own business," Hull said. "I had no alternative but to go to the St. Joseph County Humane Society for help."

San Mar's attorney Bob Masters said those who were opposed to San Mar getting its license reinstated had an outdated view of San Mar. He said the best way to get an adequate view of San Mar, "talk to the people who know them best." Masters said those people are those who have worked with San Mar for decades.

San Mar's owner declined to be interviewed.

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