Arizona K9 rescue, retirement nonprofit kennel seeks permit

YUMA (AP) – An organization that rescues aging and hospice dogs wants a permit from county authorities in Yuma so it can stay in operation amid local opposition and support among pet lovers outside the city.

Old Souls K9 Rescue and Retirement Home's request for permit comes after Yuma County received a complaint about Old Souls from the daughter of one of the nonprofit's next-door neighbors. She said a shade structure was placed too close to their home, and Old Souls' owners operating a nonprofit kennel out of their home without a permit.

Paula Rivadeneira, who owns and operates the rescue with her husband, Isaac, said she didn't know they needed a permit, the Yuma Sun reported.

"We actually contacted the county when we moved here to find out if we need a business license or a kennel license or whatever, and they said, no," Rivadeneira said.

"So the deal is, it's a complaint-driven organization, so unless there's a complaint they don't ask for those things," she said. "Now that there's been a complaint, we have to file in order to get this special-use permit."

The couple have lived in the home for three years.

The couple finds foster or adoptive homes for as many dogs as they can. The rest live out their days at the rescue with food, veterinary care and plenty of couches and pillows to lie on, until their health declines to the point that euthanasia is the most humane option.

Rivadeneira said the "Old Souls Hacienda" has a maximum capacity of 18 dogs, which will remain the same under the special use permit as proposed by county planning staff. Their five cats would also be allowed to stay, but the rescue as a rule doesn't take in elderly or sick cats.

–Information from: The Sun,