Animal rescuer fined, ordered to get permit BY JAMES BURGER, Californian staff writer | Tuesday, Mar 3 2009 6:22 PM Last Updated: Tuesday, Mar 3 2009 6:22 PM Animal rescuer Kimi Peck lost her case before the Kern County Board of Supervisors Tuesday. Supervisors declared Peck’s violating county zoning law for keeping more than 170 dogs in a home in the hills south of Tehachapi.They fined Peck $5,000, but said they would delay an additional $500-a-day fine for more than 30 days if Peck agrees to start the process of getting a permit for her facility.A tearful Peck agreed to make the effort to obtain a conditional use permit. But after the hearing she said she would put the animals down Wednesday.Supporters and opponents of Peck flung insults at each other as they exited the supervisors’ chambers.County Code Enforcement boss Chuck Lackey said Peck’s property is a kennel or animal shelter and is in violation Kern County zoning ordinances.Peck argued that her property is not a kennel and therefore does not violate zoning laws.“We looked for a place where 200 dogs could live out their lives,” she said. “I made every effort I could to keep it quiet.”But county attorney Bruce Divelbiss said Peck did not fully address the definition of an animal shelter."I believe it definitely fits animal shelter," said Supervisor Don Maben.He called for Peck to get a conditional use permit to allow her to come in compliance with the law.“Asking me to get a CUP is a ploy to get me, to get Kimi Peck out of Kern County,” Peck said. Her neighbors would oppose the approval of the conditional use permit.Maben said there would have to be compromises, but the process could end up with Peck’s home becoming a legal animal shelter.Supporters and detractors of Peck argued both sides of the issue before the board.“She has made a very unfortunate and gross misjudgment about where to put her shelter,” said nearby homeowner Steve Benedict.He argued fines won’t change Peck’s ways.Peck friend and supporter Janet Wingfield said Peck’s rescue groups are not adopting animals out of the Tehachapi home.Lackey pointed out a photo of the Tehachapi home is the main art element of the rescues’ Web site and that dogs offered for adoption on the site seem to be sitting in front of a fence on the property.

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