Georgia County Considers Fining Owners of Barking Dogs

PUBLICATION: The Atlanta Journal and Constitution
DATE: November 25, 1997
SECTION: Extra; Pg. 03J
BYLINE: Peter Scott
DATELINE: Walton County, Georgia

The Atlanta Journal and Constitution reports that the Walton County (Georgia) Commission is proposing a new
animal-control ordinance that would fine the owners of dogs that are a nuisance. The article says that specific penalties
have not yet been proposed, but the commissioners are seeking to make dog-owners pay fines for dogs that bark
excessively or stray too close to their neighbor's property.

 


Providence, Rhode Island Town Council to Amend Nuisance Ordinance so Owners of
Barking Dogs Must Quiet their Pets or Lose Them

PUBLICATION: The Providence Journal-Bulletin
DATE: August 19, 1999
SECTION: News, Pg. 1D
BYLINE: Jeff Whelan
DATELINE: Providence, Rhode Island

The Providence Journal-Bulletin reports that Providence, Rhode Island's Town Council plans to amend their nuisance
ordinance to quiet barking dogs. Instead of the current system of impounding dogs and then freeing them after payment
of a small fine -- which does not necessarily solve the noise problem -- the new system will require owners to propose a
strategy for quieting their dogs before they can reclaim them.

The article reports that Providence, Rhode Island's Town Council plans to amend their nuisance ordinance to quiet
barking dogs. Currently, dogs may be "impounded", but owners can have their dogs released simply by paying a fine.

The article notes that the change was prompted by complaints about a particular dog; after the dog was impounded
twice, neighbors said that temporary impounding and a low fine did nothing. After it was learned that fines are capped
by a state statute, the council proposed an alternate solution.

The article says that under the new amendment, dog owners will have to propose a strategy for quieting their dogs --
such as muzzling them or keeping them inside -- before they can reclaim them from the pound.

 


Barrington, Rhode Island Institutes Noise, Restraint, and Waste Ordinances Against
Nuisance Dogs

PUBLICATION: Providence Journal-Bulletin
DATE: April 12, 2000
SECTION: News, Pg. 1C
BYLINE: Suzannah Gonzales
DATELINE: Barrington, Rhode Island

The Providence Journal-Bulletin reports that the town of Barrington, Rhode Island has recently instituted pet ordinances,
mostly focused on problems with dogs. A restraint ordinance requires that dogs will have to be kept on leashes; a waste
removal ordinance requires that owners pick up after their dogs when off the owner's property; and a noise ordinance
will require that owners ensure their pets are not disturbing neighbors with barking and other noise.

The article states that under the noise ordinance, owners will have to pay the town a fine for each day that their barking
dog disturbs a neighbor. The ordinance was proposed by Councilwoman Mary Alyce Gasbarro, who had received
complaints from many residents about nuisance dogs. The ordinances exempt licensed dogs working with disabled
people, such as seeing-eye dogs.

According to the article, owners previously were allowed to let their dogs wander on public property or on private
property as long as the pet obeyed the owner's commands.

The article then goes into specifics about the noise ordinance. An owner will be in violation of the ordinance if there is a
written complaint filed by two or more people against the dog and its owner, or if a police officer or animal control
officer observes a dog making too much noise. In both cases, the dog must be causing a public nuisance, which "shall
include, but is not limited to, the habitual howling, yelping or barking which creates a noise disturbance." If found in
violation of the noise ordinance, the owner will be fined $25 for the first offense, $50 for the second offense, and $75
for subsequent offenses.

The article states that one town councilman opposed the ordinance because he feels it is not enforceable. People can no
more control their dogs' noise than they can noise made by their children, he insisted.


Dubuque Targets Noise from Car Stereos and Dogs in Noise Ordinances

PUBLICATION: Telegraph Herald
DATE: May 5, 1998
SECTION: Front; Pg. a 1
BYLINE: Jennifer Wilkinson
DATELINE: Dubuque, Iowa

The Telegraph Herald reports the Dubuque, Iowa ,City Council approved two ordinances Monday night to make the
city quieter.

According to the article, Dubuque's new ordinances deal with car stereos and barking dogs. The council unanimously
approved an ordinance that prohibits loud car stereos. Now, a driver of a car with a stereo heard from 200 feet away
will be issued a $25 traffic citation. Police Chief John Mauss said most offenders are teenagers. In the past, charges
against them were filed in juvenile court under a general noise ordinance. Mauss told the council he believes the new
ordinance will allow for more efficient enforcement.

The article reports the council also approved a nuisance ordinance and barking-dogs policy. Under the barking-dogs
policy, the animal warden or a police officer will investigate complaints as soon as possible. If the dog is not making
noise when an officer arrives, a complaint notice will be sent to the owner. If the dog is causing a problem, a warning will
be given. If the problem continues, the city solicitor will determine if there should be mediation between neighbors or if
charges of disturbing the peace should be filed. City Manager Michael Van Milligen said mediation would be the best
alternative when a conflict between neighbors is not just about a barking dog. "In some barking-dog cases, the dog is
not really the problem - it's two neighbors who can't get along," he said. "That's when mediation would be most helpful."

 


Boise City Council Will Consider New Ordinance to Silence Barking Dogs

PUBLICATION: The Idaho Statesman
DATE: June 21, 1998
SECTION: Local ; Pg. 2b
BYLINE: Mary Ann Reuter
DATELINE: Boise, Idaho

The Idaho Statesman reports that Boise City Council will be considering a new noise ordinance aimed at barking dogs.

The article describes how innocently one persons dog becomes anothers nuisance: Midmorning and you're at work.
Your night-shift neighbor is home, trying to sleep. Your dog is home, too - pacing the yard. Bored and lonely, Fido
begins to bark, bark, bark ...

According to the article Boises Assistant City Attorney Bill Nary is writing the new barking-dog ordinance for the
Boise City Council to consider. Nary is noted saying, People get incredibly rabid about this subject."

The current law is described as a nuisance-based ordinance that allows owners to he cited for "excessive, continuous or
untimely barking or noise." The dog owner who is prosecuted, faces a misdemeanor charge, punishable by maximum
fine of $300 or six months in jail.

But getting the case to court, the article said, required a complaint signed by a neighbor. And, before an animal control
officer can issue a citation, evidence must be provided that the problem dog was barking continuously.

Roger Schmitt, executive director of the Idaho Humane Society, says "[The current law] is very subjective now. We
need something quantifiable."

Each month Animal Control responds to about 140 complaints from neighbors. "Most occur when two people are
working and they're not aware of the problem, the article said, quoting Schmitt. They come home, the dog doesn't
bark."

According to the article, half of the 979 complaints filed between October 1997 and April 1998 resulted in citations.
Among those cited, eight percent were repeat offenders.

The article reports that Boises City Council is considering for its new regulation a no-fault ordinance. (Boise reportedly
has existing no-fault noise ordinances that govern radios and public address systems.) The new ordinance would define
continuous and intermittent barking during daytime and evening hours and would not consider intent. The animal control
or police officer would simply verify the nuisance situation after receiving the neighbors call, then sign the complaint.

Enforcement of the 24-hour ordinance is expected to be expensive, the article said. Nary, the city attorney, believes that
adding animal control officers and vehicles for full evening and weekend coverage could run Boise $50,000 to $60,000
a year.

The article closes with a six point list for how to keep your dog from barking provided by Dee Fugit, public relations
and education director for the Idaho Humane Society.


Community in Canada Angered by Barking Dogs

PUBLICATION: The Toronto Star
DATE: March 11, 1998
SECTION: News; Pg. B5
BYLINE: Stan Josey
DATELINE: Oshawa, Ontario
ACTIVISTS, INDIVIDUALS, AND GROUPS MENTIONED: Martin Field, resident.

The Toronto Star reports that Oshawa residents are angered by the recent City Council decision not to prosecute
barking dog complaints

A city committee heard from a dozen tired and upset residents who say they can't sleep because of barking dogs in their
north Oshawa community. "Our lives have been extremely disrupted by the city's decision to not prosecute barking dog
complaints," Sommerville Ave. resident Martin Field said yesterday. "I have lost the use of one back bedroom in my
house because of barking dogs next door."

About a year ago, Oshawa council voted 9-6 not to prosecute the owner of a barking dog. "The problem was that we
were getting so few convictions in court under our noise bylaw that we thought it was futile to continue," said Oshawa
councilor John Gray, chair of the city's operations committee. Gray said hundreds of complaints have since come from
shift workers who say they can't sleep day or night. He added that people who call animal control or police have been
told the city no longer has a ban on barking dogs. But according to city lawyers, after council decided not to pursue
barking dog complaints, Oshawa never officially repealed its noise bylaw as it applies to dogs, Gray said.


Barking Dog Not Music to Residents' Ears in Chicago Suburb

PUBLICATION: Chicago Daily Herald (Chicago, IL)
DATE: January 21, 1998
SECTION: News; Pg. 6
BYLINE: Timothy S. Rooney
DATELINE: Elk Grove Village, Illinois
ACTIVISTS, INDIVIDUALS, AND GROUPS MENTIONED: Tammy Goodman, resident

The Chicago Daily Herald reports that residents in a Chicago suburb are willing to take dog owners to court to put a
stop to incessant barking.

According to The Chicago Daily Herald, dog disturbance calls from Elk Grove Village frequently lead to the Schubitz
family's door. The Schubitzes have had to deal with numerous tickets, court fines, ongoing hearings and wrangling with
neighbors over their family pets. They have been ticketed 15 times in a little more than a year for excessive dog barking.
The tickets have come in response to neighbor complaints, police and village officials said.

The Chicago Daily Herald reports the Schubitzes own two dogs. Neighbors have complained that the dogs bark
endlessly when they are outside. "They're an annoyance. They keep us up," said neighbor Tammy Goodman, whose
back yard borders the Schubitz's. "It's made it like living hell actually. You can't use your yard." In the 15 months since
the Schubitzes moved into their home, the Goodmans have documented 35 excessive dog barking incidents at all hours.
Goodman, who has a dog for a family pet, says "It just gets so frustrating after a while." Enjoyable use of the outdoor
hot tub is out of the question for the Goodmans, they say, because the Schubitzes' dogs bark at bathers.

The article states the Schubitzes are scheduled to appear for a court hearing next month after a continuance last week.
They plan to appear armed with petitions signed by neighbors saying the dogs are not a disturbance. The Schubitzes
believed they are being targeted while the cause may be other neighbor's dogs. "It's very stressful. Sometimes we're
woken up at 10:30 or 11 p.m. for tickets when our dogs were inside," said Robin Schubitz, a Schaumburg Realtor. "I
think there is another dog in the neighborhood they can't decipher. When it barks, maybe they don't understand it."

According to the article, many of the court cases against the Schubitzes have been dismissed. However, three tickets
brought a $200 fine from a judge last year. "The police don't go to the Schubitzes' house unless they're called," Elk
Grove Village attorney George Knickerbocker said. "It's not just one person (complaining)." Knickerbocker finds this
case unique. "I've prosecuted for over 17 years and I've never seen an incidence of a neighbor documenting the dog's
noise and other neighbors are complaining," Knickerbocker said. The Schubitzes' have asked the Elk Grove Village
board to interpret the excessive noise ordinance in an attempt to stop being ticketed. "We're trying to ask, 'What is an
excessive dog barker?' " Robin Schubitz said. As for the Schubitzes getting rid of their dogs, that is unlikely. "How are
you going to get rid of your dogs, they're your babies," said Robin Schubitz.

 


Village of Long Grove, Illinois Sues Dog Owner Over Noise Ordinance Violations

PUBLICATION: Chicago Daily Herald
DATE: March 30, 2000
SECTION: News; Pg. 4
BYLINE: Aurora Aguilar
DATELINE: Long Grove, Illinois

The Chicago Daily Herald reports that dachshund breeder Lucy Huck of Long Grove, Illinois has been continually
violating the village's noise ordinance. The village board has decided to file a lawsuit against Huck, who has 25 noisy
dogs in her home. This is the second lawsuit filed against Huck in two years.

According to the article, the village dropped the first lawsuit after Huck put up a 12-foot fence that was supposed to
contain the sound. Mike LaFerle, a neighbor, said that the fence did not muffle the noise. Huck has not responded to the
village since the second lawsuit was filed. However, she now keeps only 25 dogs instead of 35.


Indiana Resident Asks How to Get Relief From Noisy Dog

PUBLICATION: The Indianapolis Star
DATE: July 18, 1998
SECTION: City/State; Pg. B03; You Ask
BYLINE: Karen McClurg
DATELINE: Indianapolis, Indiana

The Indianapolis Star reports printed a column in which a resident of Indianapolis, Indiana asked whether there is a
county ordinance that protects residents from neighbors' dogs that bark incessantly. The columnist responded by
outlining the law enforcement process that the resident could undertake.

According to the column, the resident who submitted the question has neighbors with three dogs who bark continuously.
The resident has spoken to his neighbors about the problem, and they have tried some solutions, but the problem
continues.

The column goes on to say that according to Indianapolis police Sergeant Jerry Bippus of the Animal Control Division,
talking to the dog owner is the best first step. Sometimes, he said, there is a stimulus making the dog bark that can be
removed.

But, the column says, if that fails, people should call the Animal Control Division at (317) 327-1380. Animal Control
officers enforce a city-county ordinance that says it is unlawful to have a dog "which by frequent or habitual howling,
yelping, barking or otherwise shall cause serious annoyance or disturbance to persons in the vicinity." Officers who can
impound dogs also have a duty "to impound such [howling, yelping, barking] dogs," under the ordinance.

When officers first respond to a complaint, the column says, they will make sure that all animals have current rabies
shots and registration. The officer will talk to the dog owner and to the person who is complaining to try to resolve the
problem. A warning is usually issued, and the dog owner usually is given between 7 and 30 days to take action to solve
the problem.

If the person complaining about the dog calls back with a subsequent complaint, Animal Control officers investigate
further. The information they gather is passed to the city prosecutor's office, which decides whether it is a viable court
case. Jeff Cox, spokesperson for the city's Office of Corporation Council and prosecutor's office, said the office's policy
is not to initiate court cases unless the problem is confirmed by more than one neighbor.

If a case is brought against the dog owner, it is heard by the county Environmental Court as a noise pollution violation.
The neighbor who has complained and any other witnesses will need to testify. If the complaining neighbor wins the
case, the dog owner usually gets a fine and must pay court costs, but the dog is not removed from its home. Cox said
neighbors should do two things to help establish their cases: find other neighbors to back them up, and keep a record of
when and for how long the dog barks.



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