Petition Closed

Help us keep our dogs in their loving home

This petition had 736 supporters

On January 25, 2016 we were visited by one of the Chesterfield County Animal Control officers. She had been sent after receiving a complaint about the welfare of the animals in the home. She was welcomed into the home and was shown around. She met our Chihuahuas, as well as some of our gliders and took notes on their living situation. Based on her reports, she said that our animals were healthy, well taken care of and there was no cause or concern for their safety or welfare. However, she told us that Chesterfield County has laws in place that restrict the number of dogs to no more than 3 adult dogs (meaning more than 4 months of age) in a home without a private kennel license. While we would gladly apply for the license, due to the fact that we live in a residential neighborhood, we would have to apply for a Special Exception permit. These permits are subject to a public hearing and are granted (or denied) on a case-by-case basis by the Board of Zoning Appeals here in Chesterfield County. We plan on taking the steps necessary to apply for the Special Exception permit and hope that the Board will hear our case and allow us to keep our four-legged family members.  

As many of you know, our animals are our family. Some of our Chihuahuas have been rescued from terrible situations and have been given a wonderful life here with us. They are all dearly loved. They have all been vetted and are up to date on their shots. We have gotten all of them fixed (aside from the two puppies which are too young at this time, however they will be when they are old enough). They are inside dogs, aside from being allowed out in our large, fenced in backyard for potty breaks. We do our best to provide them with the best life we possibly can because they mean the world to us.

Aside from them being our family, for me, they've been instrumental in helping my PTSD. From 2001-2007, I served in the US Army as an MP. In 2003, I was deployed to Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom. I spent time overseas in Iraq, about 45 miles from Baghdad. I was one of the lucky ones who made it home in one piece, however I have scars, but they aren't visible ones. In 2010, after many years of suffering with PTSD, I was officially diagnosed by the VA. I underwent a year and a half of EMDR and cognitive therapy to help me learn to cope with my PTSD. During my treatment, we welcomed our first Chihuahua into our lives. Prior to 2010, I never had a dog. I never knew of the healing power they possess or the love they could show. With my dogs around, I find comfort. When I'm sad, they know it, and they stay by my side to comfort me. Not only did we save some of them. They've also saved me. I still have my good and bad days, but my quality of life has been much better because they are in it. 

I open this petition in hopes that I can show the Board of Zoning Appeals how much our dogs mean to us, and that they are well cared for, healthy and happy pups. I urge them to consider allowing us to qualify for the Special Exception kennel permit and let us keep our dogs in the home that they've known. Friends and family, we ask that you will sign this petition if you know how much we love our furry family. Whether you've met our pups in person or seen the overabundance of proud puppy photos via social network, please sign and help persuade the Board to do the right thing. Let our small pack of tiny friends remain in their forever home where they will continue to be loved and cherished members of our family. 

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Lydia Nichols needs your help with “Chesterfield County, Board of Zoning Appeals- Chesterfield County VA: Help us keep our dogs in their loving home”. Join Lydia and 735 supporters today.