Thursday, November 29, 2012

This Week's Barking News Roundup - 11/29/12

Dear Abby: Barking dog is keeping couple apart

Excerpt: "Princess" is a 2-year-old rat terrier/mini-pinscher mix. She weighs nine pounds and is spoiled. She barks at anyone and anything she sees. Her barks are shrill and can be annoying. But I live alone and feel she is protecting me.

Richard can no longer tolerate Princess' barking and has curbed his visits considerably. Except for this issue, he is my dream guy, and I feel lucky to have found him. I feel Richard should understand my attachment to Princess, especially when he’s not around.

Your Quiet Neighbor's personal to Richard: Get out of this relationship while you still can. Don't walk away from this drama queen and her spoiled Princess. Run, Richard, run!

Dog Owners Turn To ‘Debarking’ Surgery To Keep Their Dogs

Excerpt: Most cities have a noise ordinance and [the owner] had already received complaints, fines and even a court summons about her barking dog. She doesn’t care who thinks she’s cruel; she simply didn’t want her dog taken away from her.

Tip: This story is open for comments. Follow the above link to add yours.

Barking law shuts up humans

Excerpt: The City of Cape Town says it has received fewer complaints about barking dogs since a controversial bylaw came into effect last year.

But dog trainers say the bylaw, which fines owners if their dogs bark for more than six minutes in an hour, is difficult, if not impossible, to police.

The Department of Shameless Self-Promotion. Well, the Roundup is back after taking a week off for Thanksgiving. Would you like to give thanks for peace and quiet in your locale? Me too! So, check out the tee shirts and bumper stickers from the QuietBarkingDogs store.  They quietly make our viewpoint known.

Friday, November 16, 2012

This Week's Barking News Roundup - 11/16/12

This edition of the Roundup is dedicated to the clueless idiots next door. You know who you are. You have that pit bull on steroids in a poorly fenced enclosure that's just a few feet away from another neighbor's bedroom. I'll bet he needs to hear that bellowing barking noise as much as I don't. And, on the off chance that you decide to get a clue, here it is...

Noise ordinance should apply to barking dogs

Excerpt: I have every reason to believe that there is regulation in the City of Gautier that requires a dog owner to certify that he/she has a minimum of 85 percent hearing loss before being allowed to own a dog. I can find no other plausible explanation why dogs are allowed to bark under an owner's window beginning at 6 a.m. without that person seeming to hear the dog. This barking, at least in North Hickory Hills, continues during most of the day and into the late hours with few interruptions.

Tip: This letter to the editor is open for your comments. Follow the above link and fire away.

Smell the Coffee: Ask not for whom the dog barks, it barks for me

Excerpt: Confucius says a barking dog is often more useful than a sleeping lion.

But not to the barking dog's neighbor. Especially when the neighbor is grumpy and on deadline.

Tip: This opinion piece is open for your comments. Follow the above link and vent.

From the Advice Column Department, we have:

Question: I never have a peaceful day due to the dogs on both sides of my property. I called the police once and it was better for a while on one side. The one side has two BIG loud dogs and the other side has a little yapper. How can it be okay to let that dog come to the corner of the yard near my bedroom window and bark all hours? I can hear it when I turn the corner onto my street. These dogs weren't here when I bought my house and I don't want to hear them now.

Tip: Hit the above link to share your experience.

The Department of Shameless Self-Promotion. Had it up to here with stupid dog owners and all the  barking noise? Sound off without making a sound via the tee shirts and bumper stickers in the QuietBarkingDogs store.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Leaving Money on the Table

If you've been wondering why it's so hard to get nuisance barking under control, wonder no more. The inaction of tax-supported officialdom isn't just a bug, it's a feature.

And it's not just us, the barking-beleagured, who are trying to enjoy quiet evenings at home or hoping that tonight may be the night when we finally get a restful sleep. Think about the victims of dog attacks.

Many have heard animal control authorities say that what has happened to them was just an unfortunate accident. Too bad that you're seriously injured and facing medical bills that you can't possibly pay. Sorry, case closed. We're not even going to bother with an investigation. Matter of fact, we're giving the poor doggie that mauled you back to its owner.

In a recent post, the Occupy Maul Street blog questions the usefulness of animal control agencies. Quoting from the post:

"In an example of the current trend in Animal Control Departments across the country, San Diego County Animal Services recently launched the controversial 'Dare to Bull-ieve' free Pit Bull Adoption program. San Diego just experienced one of the bloodiest years for any Animal Control District in memory, yet they seem to feel adopting out Pit Bulls to those who can't afford the $69 adoption fee is good policy."

Mind you, this is the very type of dog that kills, maims, and causes serious injury at much higher rates than any other dog. So, why is a tax-supported agency giving them out for free?

Can you get a free gun over at the San Diego Police Department? I don't think so. How about a free loaner car provided by the bar where you've been drinking the night away? I doubt it.

Here in Pima County, Arizona, the animal noise complaint process starts with letters. Yes, that's right. Letters. You've had barking blasted into your living space without your consent and your irresponsible dog owner neighbor gets a letter from the Pima Animal Care Center.

Quoting from this letter:

"Animals make noise for a variety of reasons, including protection of their owner's property, response to new or unusual stimulus or from being left alone. However, animals that make noise routinely over periods of time, or at disruptive times can create hard feelings among neighbors and cause them undue stress and irritability."

Undue stress and irritability. That's the understatement of the year, Animal Care. And hard feelings among neighbors. Talk about sugar-coating the reality.

If you've lived in Pima County for any length of time, you're probably aware that Animal Care loves to cry poor about its funding. Seems that they just don't have enough money.

Well, I'm of the mind that they're leaving money on the table. If they were really serious about abating nuisance barking, they could make a fortune. Tucson Police Department, I'm looking at you too. If you issued barking tickets the way you issue traffic tickets, this city's budget problems would evaporate.

Useful (and fun) reference: Dr. Craig Mixon's site includes an essay, "A Cash Cow, Waiting to be Milked." And, for your reading pleasure, here's Dr. Mixon's money quote:

"Try this for yourself. Go out your front door and walk in any direction. Within ten minutes you will walk by at least four dogs that bark at every pedestrian that passes. (If you take a dog with you on your walk you will find that three times that number of canines bark as you pass by.) In twenty minutes on the job a noise enforcement officer could write a one-hundred-dollar ticket to each of those irresponsible dog owners. That's four hundred dollars he could bring in in twenty minutes. In a single day he could easily generate thousands of dollars for the city coffers.

"Now, in addition to citing irresponsible dog owners, imagine that your town also assigned officers to write tickets for motorized skateboards, car alarms, insanely loud car engines, blaring music systems and motorcycles that can be heard from blocks away. That could add up to a considerable sum for the city. It should easily be enough to hire back some of the teachers that have been laid off, or open some of the parks, playgrounds and clinics that have been closed in these times of budget cuts."

Do I hear the mooing of a herd of cash cows?

Thursday, November 8, 2012

This Week's Barking News Roundup - 11/08/12

Barking dog problem? City council cracks down

The proposed exercise in bureaucratic hoop-jumping looks like this: Once the new ordinance goes into effect, those wishing to file a complaint about loud animal noises or odors will be directed to contact the YPD.

Officers will issue a written warning to the animal owner and will ask the citizen who filed the complaint to keep a seven-day log of the animal disturbances to be turned in to the YPD's animal control department. If there are any additional complaints logged by the citizen, animal control will conduct an investigation.

If animal control confirms the disturbance, the second complaint against the same animal or address – occurring within 30 days of any other complaint – will constitute a violation.

The first violation is punishable by a fine not exceeding $50. If the animal owner is found to be in violation within one year of the first violation, the second fine will not exceed $100. The fine for the third violation within one year will result in a fine not exceeding $250.

Tip: This story is open for comments via Facebook. Have at it!

Neighbors growling about dog park location 

Excerpt: [N]ow that the park has been open for seven months, some neighbors aren't living happily ever after. They say they're rattled by the constant sound of barking dogs, disturbed by the conversations of park visitors and feel smothered by all the dust kicked up by scampering canines.

A few neighbors are so upset they have formed an organization, Pacificans for Compatible Land Use, and hired an attorney, Daniel Muller of Walnut Creek, to do something about the problem. Muller and some of the neighbors attended the last PB&R meeting, where the commissioners agreed to fully review their complaints and the dog park operation in two months. 

Tip: This story is open for comments via Facebook. Give 'em hell!

Proposed dog rescue facility raises neighborhood eyebrows 

Excerpt: proposed dog rescue facility on rural property in Pima County’s Northwest side that’s adjacent to a high-density Marana neighborhood has some of the Marana homeowners concerned, even before the dog organization files for a conditional use permit.

Tip: This story is open for comments. Follow the above link to add yours.

The Department of Shameless Self-Promotion. Another week, another round of peace and quiet being disrupted by barking dog noise. And check out that proposed animal noise complaint process. The only thing they left out was the mandatory mediation. That used to be required here in Pima County, Arizona, and, yes, it was a waste of time and taxpayer money. But, since I'm Your Quiet Neighbor, I recommend that we fight back against all this idiocy in a noiseless fashion. So, check out the tee shirts and bumper stickers from the QuietBarkingDogs store.

Friday, November 2, 2012

This Week's Barking News Roundup - 11/02/12

Dog debarking policy at AVMA raises activists' howls of protest

Excerpt: Both dogs have been “devocalized," or surgically muffled, using a controversial procedure regarded as either barbaric mutilation by lazy pet owners -- or as the last resort of animal lovers desperate to keep their furry companions.

Tip: This story is open for comments. Follow the above link to add yours.

Barking dog case heads to court

Excerpt: The case of [Loudmouth with Nothing to Say], a dog that has been the subject of barking complaints by some neighbors, has headed to court.

[Loudmouth]’s owner, [Mr. Clueless], is appealing the orders issued against his dog by selectmen to Leominster District Court.

Augusta County Considers Dog Barking, Panhandling Laws

Excerpt: If you're annoyed by barking dogs and panhandlers, Augusta County is considering a pair of laws you'll probably like. Both are a response to complaints the sheriff's office routinely hears. But are they needed, and how would they work?

Fighting for You: Madison County Homeowner Calls Dog Barks Bothersome

Excerpt: Many of us have heard the phrase the dog’s bark is worse than its bite. Homeowners in one Madison County community believe it. They say the dogs at a nearby animal hospital bark most of the day. They want the barking to stop. One of the homeowners emailed WHNT NEWS 19.

There are rules in place for handling noise, but the homeowner wonder why the rules are not enforced. The Madison County homeowner lives a few yards away from the Flint River Animal Hospital. The animal hospital is in Huntsville. [A barking-besieged neighbor] says no one in the city or county can figure out how the rules apply in an area split between two jurisdictions. [Mr. Besieged] continues to hear the barks. He wants someone to silence the dogs.

The Department of Shameless Self-Promotion. Do you wish that Madison County would build a bridge to peace and quiet? Me too. In the meantime, you can get our point across with tee shirts and bumper stickers from the QuietBarkingDogs store.