Nuns battle pit bull kennel

Thursday, July 10th 2008, 7:29 pm
By: News 9

By Gan Matthews, NEWS 9

NORMAN, Okla. -- Nuns at the Villa Teresa Moore School in south Oklahoma City are hoping a new law will help them close a kennel they said is too close for comfort.

Several hundred yards to the west of Villa Teresa Moore lays a dog kennel belonging to Kenneth Gonzales. Gonzales said he's raising about two dozen pit bulls at the kennel for breeding purposes, not for fighting. Still, school officials are worried.

"I'm concerned that a dog will get out and will make it over toward our school, and even worse, that more than one dog will get out," school administrator Sister Patricia Ann Miller said.

Thursday morning, Sister Patricia and Kenneth Gonzales were in a Norman courtroom. The school wants the kennel closed and is relying upon Senate Bill 1754, which took effect last month, to help close the kennel down. The law bans dog kennels within 2,500 feet of a school in any city with a population of more than 300,000.

Gonzales' attorney said the law is unconstitutional.

"They went after one person, Kenny Gonzales," Gonzales' attorney Mickey Homsey said. "To have a law that is constitutional, you go after a variety of businesses or enterprises. You don't go after one person."

"I doubt if any legislator votes on something for one particular purpose," Rep. Mike Reynolds (R-Oklahoma City) said. "We find something that's incorrect and we need to remedy it."

Gonzales has been ordered to put up a concrete barricade around his existing fence in case a dog does escape the kennel.

The nuns and the kennel owner will be back in court in Norman Monday afternoon.