County planning and zoning commission approves three animal-related requests

Tuesday, June 29, 2010 | 10:56 p.m. CDT; updated 7:30 p.m. CDT, Wednesday, June 30, 2010

COLUMBIA — The Boone County Planning and Zoning Commission approved three requests Tuesday concerning animal-related facilities.

The commission gave a conditional-use permit to Terri Wright to expand a previously approved riding school and indoor equine boarding arena by about 100 acres at Amulet Equestrian Center, 2801 S. Olivet Road. Another permit went to Joseph A. Caputo to allow a dog-training facility and kennel on his 15-acre plot, west of Ashland.

Caputo is a certified police canine and search-and-rescue canine trainer who said his dream always has been to serve the public.

“It is a passion I have always had,” Caputo said, “to serve the community by training dogs for public safety.”

Caputo said he worked with the New York City Police Department for 17 years training canine teams and supplied canine teams during the rescue and recovery effort of Hurricane Katrina and for the Sept. 11 terror attacks on the World Trade Center. He trains German Shepherds and owns a jack russell terrier named Fiona.

The commission requested that Caputo have "no more than 17 dogs on site.”

Caputo held an open house for his neighbors to explain his request.

“My neighbors were very friendly and open-minded about my interest,”  he said. “I am nestled in the woods, 600 feet from the road.”

The commission also accepted a rezoning request that allowed an extension of more than 800 square feet to the back of the Rock Bridge Animal Hospital.

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