• BEST IN STATE—Senior Courtney Schoen Lewis was named Best PR Student in Utah. Story
  • CROWBAR—Athletes compete in annual Crowbar backcountry race in Logan Canyon. CHRISTIAN HATAHWAY
  • HINDU FESTIVAL—Hundreds of Hindus and friends gather for annual Holi Festival of Colors in Spanish Fork. DANA IVINS
  • RAINBOW CELEBRATION—Holi celebrants joyfully paint themselves at Hindu festival. DANA IVINS
  • HUT! HUT! HUT!—ROTC teams compete in Ranger Challenge at Camp Williams. ALISON OSTLER. Story
  • SNOWBARD JAM—Boarders show their stuff on the Quad during Entrepreneur Week. CASSIDEE J. CLINE. Story
  • SNOWBOARD TRICKS as hotdoggers show off on the Quad during Entrepreneur Week. CASSIDEE J. CLINE. Story
  • WINTER A and the American flag over a snowy USU campus. WHITNEY PETERSON
  • QUADVIEW—A springtime view of the USU Quad and Old Main from atop the business building.
  • PRESS CONFERENCE—USU President Stan Albrecht briefing journalism students. CHRIS ROMRIELL. Story
  • HIGH-HEELIN’ IT—Men in high heels and their female supporters walk a mile to protest sex abuse. TY ROGERS
  • ELK PICNIC—Elk and humans mingle at the winter refuge at Blacksmith Fork's Hardware Ranch. CARESA ALEXANDER. Story

Smithfield aftermath: Neighbors speak out about dogs

September 29th, 2013 Posted in Opinion

By Addison M. T. Hall

SMITHFIELD — After an unsuccessful attempt to get a kennel permit from either the Planning and Zoning Commission or the City Council, Chris Biggs says he is being treated unjustly and will appeal to civil court. However, his neighbors say the reason his permit keeps getting denied is because Biggs doesn’t have the ability or the willpower to maintain the dogs that already live with him.

Paul Thomas, Biggs’s next-door neighbor, said the trouble began almost a year ago when Biggs purchased an Italian mastiff, a large dog with a loud bark. Thomas said Biggs’s dogs, including the mastiff and two others, were let loose to roam the neighborhood and the adjoi ning golf course whenever Biggs wasn’t at home.

“I first made a complaint to animal control after he kept letting his dogs just come out and run stray,” Thomas said. “They weren’t licensed or anything so after animal control got after him a couple times, some of the other neighbors called him in too.”

Thomas said a couple who’d been living on the other side of Biggs’s house but had since moved out, had complained the most of any of his neighbors. The couple called the police and animal control on several occasions to make Biggs keep his dogs quiet and to make him build a fence to keep them inside.

“After the animal control got after him, he went and licensed his dogs,” Thomas said, “and then he went and put up this little fence which was just chicken wire with these little metal posts, and they were just going underneath it.”

Related story: ‘Dog days’ continue at Smithfield City Council

At the council meeting Biggs said golfers had been pushing his fence over, but Thomas said it was the mastiff that had been pushing over and digging under the fence. Thomas also said Biggs had put a small pool and a drip can in front of the holes his dogs had dug when asked to fix them. Eventually things escalated to where the couple who’d lived next door to Biggs started a petition to stop him from getting a kennel license and legally owning more dogs. Kim Thomas, Paul’s wife, said it was because the neighbors were concerned about the mastiff already in his yard.

“The petition was to stop the dog kennel,” she said. “They had little kids and the dogs were breaking down the fence and scaring the kids. They would bark all day; she had a little baby that wouldn’t sleep.”

Biggs told the city council he wanted the kennel license to keep his dogs so he could protect them. According to him, one of his dogs died due to prolonged exposure to summer heat when he gave it to someone else. “I’m just trying to get the dog that’s deaf… in my property,” Biggs said during the meeting. “That’s all I’m asking so that I don’t have another $3,000 dog die.”

Kim Thomas said she didn’t understand what Biggs meant because his dogs had been out of his house nearly every day during the summer and hadn’t suffered any heat-related afflictions. On top of that, both Kim and Paul Thomas believe he would abuse a kennel license and use it for other purposes.

“He’s not going to keep this little white one that’s deaf; he wants to breed these big dogs,” Kim Thomas said, citing Biggs’s ex-wife. “His plan is to breed these big dogs and sell them. If it was these three dogs and that little deaf one for his kids, I wouldn’t really have a problem with that but that’s not what his plan is.”

Paul and Kim Thomas said they weren’t afraid of the dogs and that the dogs were all quite friendly. The only problem they had was with how rowdy and noisy they were and how poorly kept Biggs’s yard was, leading to foul smells from dog droppings and the dogs frequently breaking out.

According to Kim Thomas, the neighbor who moved offered to mow and clean Biggs’s yard and help repair the fence. Paul Thomas said he’d taken time off during July to repair an old fence in Biggs’s yard that had rotted out of its base and had began leaning heavily into Thomas’s yard.

The family is fed up with the situation and said they don’t want to keep dealing with it, although they were willing to help fix it if Biggs took responsibility.

“If he’d get the wood I’d help him get the fence up,” Kim Thomas said. “Let me help you put this fence up, let’s get it how it’s supposed to be so we can enjoy our backyard again.”


Tags: , , , , ,

  1. 2 Responses to “Smithfield aftermath: Neighbors speak out about dogs”

  2. By Philippe on Oct 7, 2013

    I have to agree with the neighbour, if you can’t take care of the pet in your possession now, why would the city be willing to give you a permit to start a kennel. Our city here gave a permit to a rehabilitation center which only 2 years after was shut down because it just couldnt take care of the animals. I would hate to see this repeat itself.

  1. 1 Trackback(s)

  2. Sep 29, 2013: Hard News Cafe » Blog Archive » ‘Dog days’ continue at Smithfield City Council

Sorry, comments for this entry are closed at this time.