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Archive for the ‘Animal Welfare’ Category

An animal therapy organization has opened its doors at 22093 N. Countryside Lane in Barrington. SOUL Harbour Ranch Animal Therapy is a nonprofit organization run by volunteers who recruit and train people to handle mini-horses, donkeys and therapy dogs.

The Barrington Area Chamber of Commerce earlier this month held a ribbon-cutting ceremony and open house at Soul Harbour, which also advocates for animal therapy standards of excellence. “This has been an amazing journey,” said Jodie Diegel, president and founder of SOUL Harbour Ranch. “We started this in 2012 and I am so grateful to everyone who has joined our journey along the way. We’ve built a beautiful facility, but more importantly we’ve built a very special organization filled with SOUL, which stands for Sharing Of Unconditional Love that is shown each day through our animals and volunteers.”

SOUL Harbour partners with other community organizations for events, including the SOUL Buddies Club from Barrington High School. For information, visit soulharbourranch.com.

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Accomplished and highly educated yet surprisingly shy, Megan West found her voice on the journey to becoming a first-class amateur polo player.

Megan West says people are surprised to see her shy and humble demeanor melt away on the polo field where a bold, competitive spirit takes over. The sport does attract people with a competitive nature, but for West, playing polo is where she finds personal strength. “On the field someone’s got to take charge. I’ve learned that skill in a safe environment with people who are my friends. It’s a place where I’ve learned and practiced leadership skills,” she said.

When not on the field or in a barn, West leverages her doctorate in agricultural food chemistry for Mars Wrigley where she works on long-term research projects. “It’s basically a lab-based job,” she says of pre-COVID-19 times. A chemist by training, West works on projects such as product ingredient sourcing with consideration to sustainability.

Growing up in Glencoe, Illinois, West says hers was not a “horse family”. The earliest chance to ride was at summer camp in Minocqua, Wisconsin. “My first year at Red Pine Camp, I was eight years old and just one of those kids who wanted to take riding lessons,” West said. “I love the outdoors and the appeal of horses. I just gravitated towards them.” Riding at camp was a source of fun for West and her “barn rat” friends who helped take care of the horses there.

Read the full Quintessential Barrington feature story here.

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The Village Equestrian Commission will meet for the first time this year at 6:30 PM at Village Hall. A copy of their agenda and minutes from their last meeting on August 13, 2019 can be viewed and downloaded here.

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Authorities say two people have been charged with animal cruelty after two horses were found dead and five others severely malnourished at a farm in Marengo. Courtesy of Hooved Animal Rescue & Protection Society)

Authorities say two people have been charged with animal cruelty after two horses were found dead and five others severely malnourished at a farm in Marengo.

McHenry County Animal Control officers were verifying vaccine records at a dog breeding operation when they discovered the horses. The Hooved Animal Rescue & Protection Society in Barrington Hills was contacted and found two dead miniature horses that appeared to have starved, it said.

Five malnourished horses were also found Friday. They’ve been taken to the society’s facility for treatment and are expected to recover.

Among the malnourished were four miniature and one full-sized horse, said Ronda Ewing, the president of the Hooved Animal Rescue & Protection Society.

Read more here.

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barrington220In October and November 2018, the D220 Board of Education is seeking community feedback on the master-facility plan, to narrow down which parts a potential referendum question should focus on in the April 2019 general election. The Board is gathering this feedback through a phone survey, online survey and Referendum Advisory Committee. To take the online survey or view the Master Plan at barrington220.org/blueprint220

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The Forest Preserve District of Cook County cannot evict the former owners of Horizon Farm in Barrington Hills, a state appeals court ruled Tuesday, citing an appeals court order from August that essentially sent the sale of the 400-acre equestrian estate back to the legal drawing board.

The land, which features four miles of trails for hikers, bicyclists and horse riders, has occasionally been open to the public since 2015.

The August order voided the sale of the property, which leaves the district with no right to evict the former owners, the court ruled Tuesday.

Richard Kirk Cannon and Meryl Squires Cannon argue the county unlawfully acquired the property through a $14.5 million foreclosure sale with BMO Harris Bank back in 2013.

The court’s latest opinion reverses a previous circuit court decision to award the district possession of the property and puts the eviction issue on hold pending resolution of the foreclosure case.

“We hold that the reversal of the foreclosure judgment voids the sale of the property to the FPD,” the opinion says. “If the circuit court, following trial, again awards a foreclosure judgment in favor of FPD, the court will need to hold a new foreclosure sale, and the purchaser at that sale will acquire the property owner’s rights and duties under the lease with Royalty Farms (if Royalty Farms has a valid lease).”

The full text of the Daily Herald article can be accessed here.

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A dog that recently fled its own coop in Barrington Hills ended up killing a neighbor’s 15 chickens while on the loose, police said.

Barrington Hills police said that as many as 20 additional chickens could be missing, injured or eaten in the incident that happened May 13 in the 500 block of West Cuba Road.

The dog’s owner, Timothy A. Mattson, 56, who lives in the 500 block of West Cuba Road, was cited for criminal damage to property under a local ordinance, said William Walsh, an officer with the Barrington Hills Police Department.

People commit criminal damage to property when they knowingly injure a domestic animal of another party without consent, under the ordinance, Walsh said.

To read the full Barrington Courier-Review story, click here.

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AR-170529561Efforts to save a coyote pup whose six siblings were found dead in a burlap bag on Cook County Forest Preserve District property near Barrington Hills continue.  Forest district  spokeswoman Lambrini Lukidis said the May 11 incident remains under investigation by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.

Lukidis said Tuesday it’s not known what occurred before a man fishing at Penny Road Pond reported seeing the animals in the burlap bag, which was in the water. The pond is by East Penny and Old Sutton roads near Barrington Hills.

She said a forest preserve officer found what later was confirmed to be seven coyote puppies, but only one was still alive. The officer brought the coyote to Golf Rose Animal Hospital in Schaumburg.

You can read the entire Daily Herald article here.

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Audio recordings from the December 7th special meeting of the Board of Trustees have been posted to the Village website.  To access the menu of recordings edited by agenda item, click here.

The meeting began with an announcement that the James J. Drury commercial boarding text amendment which was on the agenda for the meeting had been formally withdrawn earlier in the day, so no discussion or vote on that agenda item would take place.

Prior to public comments, the chair announced that the standard three minute limit rule on comments would be adhered to, as can be heard here.

Multiple Zoning Board of Appeals hearings had been held where residents had ample opportunities to speak as long as they wished, and it was noted that the public had been given significant latitude in their remarks, and that the Board of Trustees had reviewed the recordings and/or transcripts from those meetings.

Despite this, the first person to read public comments obviously decided that these established rules for public comment don’t apply to him.

The developer of Barrington Hills Farm had submitted written comments to the Board of Trustees, which were available to all in attendance, prior to the meeting.  Yet he chose to read them in their entirely anyway, in a self-serving speech lasting well beyond three minutes, choosing to ignore two polite requests from the chair to conclude his remarks as can be heard here.

Obviously some feel they are more important than others, but the fact is this person was not only disrespectful to the Board, but more so, to the many residents in attendance who took their personal time to listen to what the Board of Trustees had to say about the Zoning Board’s recommendation on commercial horse codes.

Seven other residents made comments, for and against, regarding the Zoning Board recommendation, and one used her time to comment on the Longmeadow Parkway Project.

Prior to the board beginning discussion on the Zoning Board recommendation, the chair asked Village Attorney Mary Dickson to weigh in on the validity of the “construct” of the form letter statements the Barrington Hills Farm Developer had been mailing to residents for months apparently in the hopes of amassing sufficient response to require a “super-majority” vote by trustees to pass an amendment nullifying the Anderson II commercial boarding code.

Counsel stated she’d seen a number of the petition statements, and her preliminary opinion was they didn’t satisfy the statuary requirements of our Village Code, and therefore, a super-majority may not be required.  The recording of this discussion can be heard here.

When discussion began, President McLaughlin invited each board member to provide their opinions on the recommendation before them before the Zoning Board.  To listen to each member’s viewpoints in order of presentation, click on their names highlighted below:

We recommend listening to the remarks made by all board members, particularly those made by President McLaughlin.  His uncharacteristically candid, off-the-cuff comments will resound with most residents, reminding them why he was elected, so please take a few minutes to listen.

When the vote was called, five board members voted to approve the Zoning Board recommendation to repeal Anderson II, and two opposed, thus making any debate over the number of votes required due to questionable petitions moot, as a super-majority was achieved.

The next Village Board meeting is scheduled for Monday December 19th.

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The Village Board of Trustees voted 5-2 to approve the Zoning Board of Appeals recommendation to repeal the Anderson II Commercial Horse Boarding Code during a special meeting last night.  The dissenting votes were cast by Trustees Gohl and Harrington.

Horse boarding will now fall under the Home Occupation Ordinance as it had from 2006 to 2015 until such time as the Zoning Board prepares new codes which we imagine will be considerate of all residents’ property rights, whether they board horses or not.     

We’ll have more information on the meeting once audio recordings are released.

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