Greene County Seeks To Regulate Barking Dogs

By.  Kara Reese Pennella, Greene County Field Officer

On Tuesday, July 28, 2009 at 7:30 pm the Greene County Board of Supervisors will hold a public hearing to amend the Greene County Code to include a section addressing animal noise. Although applicable to all animal noise the driving force behind the revision has been to control excessive barking.

 The ordinance, as drafted,  is a more restrictive version of Albemarle County’s animal noise ordinance. Albemarle’s ordinance restricts barking to the 30 minutes with no more than a 5 minute break in barking. The proposed Greene County version will only allow dogs to bark for 20 minutes with no more than a 5 minute break in barking before owners are subject to criminal penalties. The new ordinance will apply to all areas of the County except lots of 5 acres or more in C-1 or A-1 districts.

 When Albemarle considered adopting a similar ordinance, Free Enterprise ForumPresident Neil Williamson questioned the wisdom in “abdicat[ing] all aspects of personal responsibility and creat[ing] an Orwellian world where the Board of Supervisors is empowered to legislate good neighborship?”

The  Free Enterprise Forum wonders if Greene County should be so eager for follow Albemarle’s example. While Greene County is admittedly in transition from a rural county, one wonders “have we already progressed or regressed so much that the best solution for a bad neighbor is to slap them with criminal penalties?”

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4 responses

  1. Did any of the board in Greene Co. ever think, “who is going to tell the dogs they have to shut up”? Funny….I’ve never known one to listen. Has anyone addressed the issue that once people start getting fined the local pound will see a possibly large increase in people ditching dogs whose bark they can’t control? Also, this may lead to more abuse of an animal by an owner who wants them to stop barking to keep from getting into trouble. In the city you have road noise and have to live with it because that’s where you’ve chosen to live. People move to the countryside for quiet but along with that folks have moved out there with their brood of dogs so that if they bark whose going to complain….a bear? Woe be the life of a hunting dog whose main task is to bark only to find they better learn to punch the clock when they get home.

  2. Trying to sleep | Reply

    Perhaps the cruelty actually results in an uncontrolled barking dog- maybe trying to tell the owner something?

  3. That is so sad, we want our dogs to alert us of danger, and to protect us. that’s there job isn’t it? If a dog is tied out all day in the heat/cold/rainy wheather naturally they are going to bark untill someone attends to them they can’t do it themselves can they? If a dog is left in the house and barks it could be uncomfortable untill let out. I don’t believe in excessive barking either, it not good for the dog either. Think about it! even if you have a security system, if someone breakes into your house the system would alert you but the barking dog would would act faster. What if there is a fire/disaster the dog acts a lot faster doesn’t he/she to alert you? Just give this a lot of thought. All they want to is to do there best for you.

  4. This has less to do with actual barking and more to do with owners who ignore their dogs to the point where the dogs are simply barking for attention. I have neighbors who take their dogs outside and tie him to a tree so that he can do his business. Then, they seem to forget about him. There have been days when he’s been outside barking for over an hour before they remember he’s out there and bring him inside.

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