The bark stops here: Doggy daycare plans dropped over noise concerns

May 28, 2022

Plans for a doggy day care at 58 Sandwich Road were dropped after criticism at the Zoning Board of Appeal’s May 25 meeting. 

Betty Sanisidro, a former nurse, said that after working in hospitals during the pandemic, she’s looking to change her career. She purchased the building, which used to house a mechanic’s shop, and planned to convert it to a daycare for dogs. 

Her business would take care of dogs while owners were at work, providing enrichment for the animals. She didn’t plan to keep dogs for overnight or weekend boarding, and there would always be staff on site, she said.

That would require the Zoning Board’s approval for the change of use.

Board members were worried about the noise that 40 or 50 dogs could create, despite Sanisidro’s reassurances that the dogs would be carefully screened before they could spend time there, and staff would be on hand to keep things peaceful.

Neighbors were even more concerned. Several said that the mechanic who had operated out of the building often brought his dog to work. That one dog’s barks were heard by a number of neighbors, who said that the building has very poor soundproofing. 

Dennis Filkins, who lives nearby, pointed out that ambulances and other first responders go barreling down the street regularly, sirens blaring — the building is located between Wareham’s Emergency Medical Services headquarters and Tobey Hospital. 

“When that noise goes off, the dogs like to howl,” Filkins said, adding that he’s complained a dozen times about neighbor dogs barking continuously. “I don’t think there’s a cure for that.”

Another neighbor said she was worried about how the dogs would be contained in the backyard.

Five other neighbors spoke, also raising concerns about noise, and pointing out that there are a number of elderly people in the neighborhood.

Sanisidro thanked the neighbors for their input.

“We in no way want to cause any distress to the community,” she said. “Quite the contrary. We were hoping to help develop it and improve it.”

She said she didn’t know about the sirens. 

Board chair Nazih Elkallassi expressed sympathy for Sanisidro’s situation and suggested she consider a different use and look into soundproofing the building.

“You have to revise this whole plan,” he said, explaining that the current one likely wouldn’t be approved.

“That ship’s sailed,” Sanisidro said of her doggy daycare, dubbed Yuppy Puppy. She asked whether the building could still be used as a mechanic’s shop.

The hearing will be continued on June 22.