Camp Run-A-Mutt, a cage-free dog care and boarding facility, is opening in the Shops of Dunwoody in the former Dunwoody Academy child care center on May 21, according to a press release.

The facility came under fire last year by some residents living in the affluent Dunwoody West neighborhood, who said the noise from dogs barking would interrupt their peace and drive property values down.

The new business needed to encroach on the 100-foot setback of Dunwoody United Methodist Church’s parking lot, which, for reasons city officials do not know, is zoned residential.

The ZBA unanimously granted a variance allowing the encroachment and the church supported the city’s decision to do so in a letter to staff. The closest an actual residence is located to the dog-care business is more than 200 feet away.

City code allows commercial property, including animal care facilities, to be located within 100 feet of residential property.

Dawn and Blair Sperry are the owners of the new business, which includes a 6,000-square-foot outdoor play space and splash ponds. For more information, see

Dyana Bagby is a staff writer for Reporter Newspapers and Atlanta Intown.