Kennel controversy: Breeder wants to open commercial kennel Orange County

A kennel controversy is brewing in Orange County. A breeder wants to open a kennel in a rural part of the county, but some are against it because of a ban on dogs being sold at pet stores in the county.

"People are afraid of us doing mass production of dogs. We don’t produce dogs. We breed them," David Valencia, dog breeder, said.

Valencia wants to turn part of the property on Lake Pickett Road in Orange County into a commercial dog kennel. It would be a 4,800-square-foot facility that could hold as many as 100 dogs for his business, Bright Pets. Right now, Valencia said he has 64 dogs of seven breeds. Most of them are small dogs, and he said they are bred for dog shows. He said it’s not a puppy mill or pet store.

"A puppy mill is a facility where dogs are in the worst conditions ever. They are caged. They are not allowed to interact. They have to sleep on their own feces," Valencia said.

The property would have an outdoor space for the dogs to run during the day. Valencia said the kennel would have enough space for the dogs and would include an indoor and outdoor playground.

"They have veterinarian support. They have ample space to sleep. They have a bed. They have a run. They have a playground. They have medical attention," Valencia said.

Valencia has been in the breeding business for 17 years.

Orange County Commissioner, Nicole Wilson, is concerned about his plans."From my understanding it’s a business operation in breeding puppies and Orange County is not the place to do that," Commissioner Wilson said.

Pet shops are banned from selling dogs, cats, and rabbits in Orange County as of last year. Commissioner Wilson said Valencia’s request sounds like a retail pet shop.

"I’m concerned that an operation that saw that we don’t permit retail pet sales here in Orange County is looking for a loophole in the law in order to still sell pets that are maybe bred on a mass basis but under some other guise," Commissioner Wilson said.

The Orange County Board of Zoning will discuss the request at a meeting Thursday.