Paws for Success, a nonprofit group that trains and certifies service dogs for people with physical and psychological disabilities, received approval from the City of Chino Hills on Wednesday to continue its dog training operations.
The organization has been using Carol Mann’s goat farm at 3141 English Road in Chino Hills for the past two years to hold training classes and fundraising events to support the program.
Approximately 25 supporters attended the hearing, which was held at 1 pm in the council chambers by Director of Community Development Joann Lombardo and Senior Planner Ryan Gackstetter.
Many of the supporters were members of the Chino Valley Chamber of Commerce, of which Paws 4 Success is a member.
David Harrison, CEO and retired sheriff’s deputy, said he was overwhelmed by the community’s support and pleased with the city’s decision to allow dog training on the ranch.
You have agreed to abide by the city’s conditions of approval, including restrictions on the hours of training sessions and limitations on fundraising activities.
He also agreed that all parking will be on-site only.
Several members of the Chamber of Commerce spoke on his behalf, including Joe Alagna and Deanna Margaritha.
Paws 4 Success was named the nonprofit organization of the year by the Chamber during its Business Recognition and Awards Dinner on August 17.
Anthony Ramirez, a retired police officer who lives in Garden Grove, spoiled the excitement after claiming Paws 4 Success saved his life.
He suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder after 15 years of working in law enforcement, he said.
He walked to the podium with his service dog Rosa, provided by the organization.
“Thank you Dave and thank you Chino Hills for appreciating people like me,” said Mr. Ramirez.
He said he has been able to reestablish himself with his family.
Darrin Lee, a Chino Hills resident, Paws 4 Success board member and member of the police force, said the organization has given him a new purpose.
He said the program recently received approval from the Chino Valley Unified School Board to provide therapy dog resources to Chino Hills High School.
The program has expanded to include the training of therapy dogs to provide comfort to students, first responders, veterans, police officers, and members of the community.
The dogs are also trained to perform specific tasks for people with disabilities, such as seizures, brain injuries, mobility problems, post-traumatic stress disorder, and health conditions such as diabetes.
Mental health talks and dog-friendly events are held at the ranch.
Paws 4 Success came under scrutiny when it posted a June 4 fundraiser on social media and someone in the neighborhood complained to the city.
The matter was turned over to the code enforcement department.
The city informed the group that while the property has an approved Large Animal and Equestrian Use Permit for housing horses and goats, dog training was not listed as an permitted use.
A public hearing was held in council chambers on 3 August attended by Mr Harrison and three residents who opposed the operation due to noise from fundraisers and parking problems on English Road.
After listening to their concerns, Ms. Lombardo continued the meeting until Wednesday to allow a month to resolve the issues raised by the residents.
According to a staff report for Wednesday’s meeting, the use permit allows staff to review and determine if dog training is compatible with surrounding uses.
After a review, staff determined that the use is compatible with surrounding uses and that dog training would not adversely impact surrounding parcels.
The city placed 18 conditions on the program, including the proviso that the large animal and equestrian permit could be rendered null and void if the operation is determined to have harmful effects on the community based on documentation provided by the code enforcement division. or documented resident complaints.
The city banned boarding, kennel, dog daycare, and gatherings not allowed.
Fundraisers are permitted with the following restrictions: no more than once a month; hours restricted to 10 am and 9 pm Friday and Saturday, and 10 am and 8 pm Sunday through Thursday; max 40 attendees per fundraiser, amplified sound must end by 8 pm Friday and Saturday and 7 pm Sunday through Thursday; no flashing lights or activities that generate light or noise spilling off the property; and parking is not allowed on the streets.