Neighbors express concern over proposed puppy-selling business in Yates County

Neighbors express concern over proposed puppy-selling business in Yates County (Photo: Courtesy of Rebecca Flynn)

Barrington, N.Y. – Puppies by appointment only: A man is asking a town zoning board for permission to sell puppies for money out of his home in Yates County. But that’s not what some neighbors are upset about.

John Sensenig filed an application in the Town of Barrington, asking to sell up to 500 puppies per year from a farm that his family owns. Town documents also list Sensenig's relative, Wayne Sensenig, as applying for a special permit to operate a kennel for 50-75 breeding dogs across the street.

13WHAM went to Yates County for answers. A map took us to a home just off Route 14A in Dundee, Yates County. No one was there, but it is the same address listed on the application sent to the Barrington Zoning Board. It is a request from John Sensenig, asking for permission to sell puppies on the premises. It says the puppies would be sold by appointment only, 24 hours a day, six days a week. It spells out clearly: No breeding, no kennels.

Rebecca Flynn lives nearby and says it’s what’s on the farmland that sits behind the property that concerns her. We checked, and it is land owned by the Sensenig family.

“Having 500 puppies being sold from a home, and having 50-700 breeding dogs involved in that, it’s just not appropriate,” said Flynn.

We traced John Sensenig back to Lancaster, Pennsylvania and found he recently pleaded guilty to two counts of animal cruelty.

“This is a beautiful, special area,” argued Flynn. “Everyone loves Keuka Lake…I don’t think a puppy mill or a large-scale dog breeding facility is appropriate for the area.”

We knocked on the family’s door. A relative answered and told us they had no comment.

A hearing on the matter is scheduled for Tuesday night. Flynn says she will be there with dozens of others who have signed an online petition against the project.

“Start kicking and screaming and don’t stop until he leaves,” said Flynn. “That’s what we’re going to do.”

Neighbors in Yates County reached out to lawyer Susan Chana Lask for help on the case.

“New York should not be a safe harbor for animal abusers to re-open bad businesses shut down by other states," Lask said. "Barrington should enforce a moratorium for residents and the town to address the welfare of the animals, residents and New York State consumers before a permit is issued."

Lask said in 2012, Gorham, New York passed a moratorium that found that these “facilities can be detrimental to the health, safety and welfare of the dogs” and the public.

13WHAM wanted to know where the dogs might be coming from. Sensenig’s relative said they will get them through licensed breeders and other certified kennels.

The Barrington Town Board will is scheduled to discuss the issue at its meeting on Tuesday, November 14th at 7:00 pm at the town hall.

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