A near-century-old kennel in Muttontown has been condemned by village officials, who say the main building and adjacent dog runs are structurally unsafe.
Hav-a-Home Kennels, a four-acre property on Brookville Road, was shuttered April 13 after building inspectors said a wall could collapse and outside covered dog runs were deemed unsafe.
Patricia Kleber is the owner/manager who lives on premise in a separate residential home. The dog and cat kennel has been a family-run business for the past 92 years, according to Kleber’s nephew, Frank Boccio.
The village first issued violations on the site in December 2013, according to paperwork provided to Newsday by the village. Boccio said his aunt has received several items of correspondence from the village since then. Boccio, who assists at the kennel, said, “It’s been an ongoing process.”
According to an email from the Muttontown village clerk’s office, only after various court appearances and correspondence did Kleber finally provide a plan to address their concerns.
As of Monday, Boccio said about 40 family-owned animals remained on the property. Almost all of the clients’ pets have already been picked up, except for three that were expected to be picked up by Tuesday.
Boccio said his aunt has been advised by legal counsel to make sure all the customers’ animals are returned and the kennel has temporarily ceased operations.
An engineer hired by the family found the building not to be in “imminent danger of collapse”; however, he did make recommendations to repair one exterior wall.
“I do recommend that north wall is repaired and a new foundation wall installed under wall ... because the kennel is slowly losing lateral stability in the north and south direction,” engineer Sean Cunningham said in a March 2014 report obtained by Newsday.
Cunningham suggested the work be completed by the fall of that year. According to both parties, no construction has been completed.
Monday night Boccio told Newsday that the kennel attorney and the village attorney will be meeting on Wednesday with the engineer in an effort to resolve the situation.
Muttontown Mayor Julianne Wesley Beckerman said in a phone interview Monday that the building department did not receive a permit application until the fall of 2014.
“The plans that they submitted did not conform to New York State Building Codes. We cannot issue a permit if the work they are looking to do was not safe,” she added.
Boccio said a revised set of plans were submitted and their independent engineer stated the village’s issues “did not apply to this site.”
After initial correspondence in late 2013, the kennel was told to “immediately shore up the building,” Beckerman said.
“They didn’t need any permits to make sure there wasn’t any further degradation of the building,” she added. “They took no steps to make sure the building was stabilized while they waited to receive the permits.”
Beckerman said the village was informed by the kennel owner that they did not intend to go forward with any construction.
“It was because of that that we have gone forward with the condemnation,” she added.
No one is supposed to be in a building that has a commendation on it, the mayor noted.
“The notice is a warning to people that the building has been deemed unsafe,” Beckerman said. “We don’t want any living being to be harmed.”