Y Bark Alone wants to double number of dogs


Y Bark Alone sits on Watson Road near the Watson-Lindbergh intersection. Photo by Jessica Belle Kramer.

By Erin Achenbach, Staff Reporter

The owner of Y Bark Alone, a dog day-care facility in Sunset Hills, will find out next week if the facility will be allowed to board 120 dogs, more than double the current amount it boards.

The Sunset Hills Board of Aldermen declined a second reading on the petition May 14.

A public hearing was held on a bill that would amend the current conditional-use permit for Y Bark Alone by increasing the total number of dogs allowed per day from 50 to 120 at the facility located at 10390 Watson Road. Owner Patches Ellis submitted the petition, saying that demand for her services has been overwhelming.

Ellis said that when she originally applied for a conditional-use permit, or CUP, to operate a dog day care at the location in 2012, she used internet research to arrive at the number of 50 dogs, based on other similar facilities. However, she learned that under the Missouri Department of Agriculture guidelines, Y Bark Alone is suited to house up to 120 dogs.

“The only reason I ask for 120 is so I wouldn’t have to come before you guys again,” said Ellis. “100 would be fine… The main time we’d have that large of a number would be the holidays.”

The Planning and Zoning Commission unanimously voted in April to reject recommending the amended CUP to the Board of Aldermen, and city staff also did not recommend the changes, citing previously mentioned concerns when the CUP was first issued about the number of dogs on the premises, as well as the parking situation with nearby businesses.

Public Works Director Bryson Baker said that his staff visited the facility and that 50 dogs already felt full. To more than double that amount did not seem realistic, he said.

Ward 3 Alderman Kurt Krueger asked what Ellis planned to do about noise complaints from neighbors about the barking and employees yelling at the dogs.

“We’re gonna stop taking all the big dogs out at one time,” said Ellis. “The dogs get excited when they’re going outside. They’re all running to go outside and barking and running. If we cut the groups down, that’ll change that.”

Ellis requested a second reading, but the board declined.