Mount Hermon Animal Clinic Hoping To Expand Services, Met with Opposition

Danville, VA-- For 20 years, one animal clinic in Danville has been helping our four legged friends. They're now looking to expand their doggy day care service and pet hotel, but they're meeting some opposition.

Mount Hermon Animal Clinic wants to relocate from Franklin Turnpike to a building on the 200 block of Piney Forest Road. However, some residents that live behind that building are against it, saying they don't want all the noise pollution that could come from having up to 100 dogs in one building.It's something that Dr. Jeff Smith with Mount Hermon Animal Clinic says pet owners in Danville just keep asking for."A daycare for pet dogs, boarding as well," Smith said."I've come to pick up my dog Dixie. She's been here for ten days," said Jeanette Kirby, a customer at Mount Hermon Animal Clinic.Right now, the clinic takes on between seven and ten pets every day in their doggy day care, but they're running out of space."We just have a large need. Our clients are asking for more so we want to try and provide that for them," Smith said.Smith said they could do that by moving to a 19,000 square ft. building on Piney Forest Road. It would also serve as a full veterinary hospital. Smith said they could take in up to 100 pets at a time.For some residents in the neighborhood behind that building, that put up red flags."The noise... I mean I love animals I have a cat and I like dogs and cats. That close... I'm afraid of the noise. There's one not too far from there that sometimes we can hear barking and things like that. I wouldn't be crazy about the noise level," said Tommy Dodson, a Danville resident.Others also spoke out against it at a recent Danville City Council meeting where Smith was hoping for approval for a special use permit for the property."I don't think people fully understand the nature of the modern facilities we're trying to build, and I don't think that barking is going to be an issue and we're certainly able to comply with noise ordinances in the city," Smith said.But not all residents are against it. Many residents said the clinic moving there may actually be an asset to the area."I don't have an animal now but a lot of the neighbors do and it would be more convenient for them," said Teresa Hilton, a Danville resident.Danville City Council tabled the issue.Residents said Smith visited homes in the neighborhood and explained his plans for the building to them. He noted the building would be sound proof and has offered to further discuss how they could blend well in the area.