January 12, 2012

Putting Teeth into the City's Barking Dog Ordinance

This week the City Council changed the City's ordinance regulating nuisance dogs, establishing a new hearing procedure and fine structure.

Before, a citation could only be issued for licensed dogs because the citation was attached to the license. The owner first had to be forced to get a license. Under the new code, Animal Control officers can now issue citations even if the dog is unlicensed. (The dog owner must still get a license.)

A dog is a "nuisance" if it barks continuously for 10 minutes or for 30 minutes in a three-hour period. The owner first receives a written warning allowing them to improve the situation. If it persists, a hearing is held where the owner could get a $250 fine for the first offense, $500 for a second offense and $1,000 for a third offense.

To report nuisance barking dogs, please call West Valley Animal Care Center at (888) 452-7381.

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