Complaints stall woman from fostering dogs

Tammy Derickson, founder of Perfect Paws Pet Rescue, and her dog.

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – A few neighbors have stalled one Fort Wayne woman’s effort to foster dogs at her home.  After complaints of barking dogs, her proposal was not passed by the board of zoning appeals.

Tammy Derickson started Perfect Paws Pet Rescue in 2005.  As of today, she has 10 other people on board fostering dogs too.  Last year alone, they helped find permanent homes for 200 dogs.   But now she says that number may slowly shrink.

“It was devastating,” founder of Perfect Paws Pet Rescue Tammy Derickson said.

Derickson went before the board of zoning appeals to request to have her property zoned so she could have up to 10 dogs.  According to county ordinance, residents can only have five dogs.  Derickson has seven of her own plus two rescues that’ll be going to their forever homes Saturday.

That was denied, but they’re allowing her to have seven.

The complaint though that threw the brakes on: dogs barking outside.

“We do not let our dogs outside to bark. Part of what we do is train the dogs to be good adoptive family pets. A dog that stands outside and barks non-stop is not going to be a good family pet.”

So far this year, Derickson and her team have saved 175 dogs from Animal Care and Control.

In March, Judge Dan Heath approved the D.A.W.G.S. program for kids on juvenile probation.  Derickson says the program has been put on hold since she can’t foster dogs anymore.

“I wanted to make sure the dogs I took in to work with these kids were going to be solid, sound dogs. Now that I can’t foster, I can’t in good conscious take in dogs that I am not familiar with to work with these youth.”

The ruling doesn’t mean an end to Perfect Paws.  Derickson will continue to run the program, but she says she plans to continue fighting and appeal the decision.

“The only way to change this is to keep trying. So, that’s our plan.”

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