Animal Shelter Earns Special Permit

Dozens of residents gathered to show their support of All About the Animals, an animal shelter in Rochester seeking a special permit in order to gain 501-c3 non-profit organization status.  The hearing was held at the Rochester Zoning Board of Appeals’ regular meeting on Thursday, January 24 in Rochester Town Hall.

Three years ago, Pam Robinson and her husband Oren began taking in abandoned and stray cats, taking care of them and their medical needs and finding them suitable homes with adoptive families.  In 2012, All About the Animals placed over 40 cats.

“They’re and asset to the community,” said Diane Beaulieu, who has adopted two cats from the shelter.  “I would love to see them flourish.”

Since its inception, All About the Animals has been privately funded by the Robinson family.  They are now seeking non-profit status so they can be eligible for grants and donations to help keep the shelter thriving.

“Pam and Oren take great care of the cats,” said Lisa Fuller, an abutter of the shelter, which is located at 103 Marion Rd.

“I see no way this negatively affects the neighbors,” said Sarah Johnston, another neighbor.

Feeling the support from the abutters, the Board had no issue with the special permit.  The approved it unanimously with the following conditions:

  • There will be no more than 50 cats at any given time at the shelter
  • There will be no more than 3 small dogs at any given time at the shelter
  • There will be no additional structured added to the property

In other business, the Board also issued a special permit to Ruth Sundby of 153 County Rd.  Sunby is seeking permission to construct an 18′ x 24′ structure as part of her business.  The structure would be used to showcase her silk floral arrangements as well as her picture frames.  The building will utilize electric heat and be located no less than 40 feet from the existing structure on Sundby’s property.

The Rochester Zoning Board of Appeals will meet again on Thursday, February 7 at 7:30 pm in Rochester Town Hall.

By Katy Fitzpatrick 

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