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Planners endorse Canine Companions permit requests

The Mathews County Planning Commission on Tuesday unanimously endorsed an application by the nonprofit organization Canine Companions for Independence for a conditional use permit to operate a private club, office, and training facility on a 68.81-acre parcel off John Clayton Memorial Highway in Mathews.

Commission members then voted 6-1, Byron Rauch dissenting, to recommend that supervisors approve a second CUP for an event center to be used for fundraisers and volunteer outreach at the same site.

The action followed a joint public hearing with the Mathews County Board of Supervisors, during which four Canine Companion-trained dogs sat quietly in the audience with their trainers or owners.

Speaking for the applicant, Richmond attorney Will Shewmake explained that Canine Companions is a charitable organization that trains Labrador and golden retrievers and lab/golden crosses to be companions for people with disabilities, including veterans. He said the organization has given ...

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