A Muncie pit bull owner is under fire from neighbors who say his backyard pit bull breeding operation has created a nuisance for the community.
More than 30 people in the East Central neighborhood have signed a petition raising concerns about John Ewing's home, which is empty, with the exception of the pit bulls.
Ewing will appear before the Board of Zoning Appeals Thursday night at 6:30 in the hopes of legalizing it as a kennel.
"People can't have their windows open at night to sleep," said Mark Nichols, who started the petition. "We hear the dogs all night long."
Animal Care and Control told RTV6's Kara Kenney that Ewing has nine pit bulls and is breeding them for $400 a puppy.
"There's a limit of three dogs you can keep in the city of Muncie, so he is already six over that limit," said Phil Peckinpaugh, director of the Muncie Animal Shelter.
Animal Care and Control has received half a dozen complaints about the animals regarding noise, smell and their living conditions.
"The doghouses they're in are all dilapidated," said Peckinpaugh. "They have fly marks on their ears from fly bites. It's just not a good situation for these dogs."
Peckinpaugh said the city is already grappling with an animal overpopulation problem.
"I don't want any more dogs to come into the shelter, but I do want people to act in the best interest of animals," said Peckinpaugh.
RTV6 set up a 7:30 p.m. appointment with Ewing Wednesday night, but he did not show up or answer his phone.
One of his neighbors came to his defense.
"I know the guy; he's a good guy," said Corey Kates, a neighbor. "But a kennel in a neighborhood -- to me, in my opinion -- that's something you do out in the country."
If Ewing loses his case Thursday night, Animal Care and Control will likely issue fines, and Ewing will have to appear in court.
Members of the zoning board were unable to speak with RTV6 due to a policy discouraging them from discussing issues before public meetings.
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