With around 600 barking complaints in just one year, the city officials are hoping that draconian fines might motivate pet parents to shush their pooches.
A city in Ontario, Canada, is taking a big bite out of the budget of its noisiest citizens and hopes other communities will soon follow. Fed up with the inefficiency of their previous system for logging in dog barking complaints, the city made changes that are, hopefully, to put an end to its rising problem: loud canines.
Until now, the complainant was to provide a log of the dog’s barking before a ticket would be issued. The matter was in the jurisdiction of bylaw officers, but with the new system, the process will, in a way, be similar to issuing a parking ticket.
Instead of entrusting the complaint with bylaw officers, the city council placed the duty of barking complaints with animal control officers. They will visit the alleged offenders immediately after the complaint in hopes to resolve the situation. Animal control officers will check for dog licenses, and try to educate owners and offer tips on how to get their pets to behave, and not just slap them with a hefty fine. In fact, the pawrents of the barking pooch would first be fined with $75, if they refuse to comply, then $240 in case that the issue remains unresolved. Only repeat offenders, aka pooches that just won’t quit, could be fined with $25,000 for their yappy habits. And that’s a LOT of treats and kibble, guys.
And Hamilton’s new method of dealing with loud dogs inspired London, Ontario, to consider introducing similar changes to their system. The city officials are optimistic that a combination of high fines for repeat barkers, shifting the jurisdiction to animal control and, essentially, putting the burden of resolving the issue on the alleged offender rather than the complainant, is the solution to this problem.
Living next door to a dog who is constantly barking is no picnic, I can agree with that. But, even though there are four-legged wannabe rockstars that disturb the whole neighborhood with their loud, incessant barking, it doesn’t mean that there won’t be cases of a nitpicky, grumpy neighbor trying to retaliate by exploiting these new rules.
Either way, the safest way to make yourself, your neighbors, and your fur baby happy is to make sure to train them not to bark at everything.
A proud mama to seven dogs and ten cats, Angela spends her days writing for her fellow pet parents and pampering her furballs, all of whom are rescues. When she’s not gushing over her adorable cats or playing with her dogs, she can be found curled up with a good fantasy book.