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Sherwood creates stricter dog barking ordinance

Barking is part of what makes a dog a dog. But if your pooch is too loud for too long it may soon cost you up to 500 dollars in Sherwood.
Barking is part of what makes a dog a dog but if your pooch is too loud for too long it may soon cost you up to $500 in Sherwood.  The city council may vote to toughen the animal noise ordinance.

Sherwood Animal Services responds to as many as 60 animal noise complaints a month. They say the ordinance hasn't been updated in 26 years and they have to do something.

Robin Breaux with Sherwood Animal Services says the outdated ordinance prohibits excessive barking, but doesn't define what is excessive or give a way to prove it. The new ordinance changes that. If a dog barks continuously for five minutes or off and on for 15, that would be excessive. There also has to be a witness.

“We needed to update our ordinance [in order to] make it fair to both the pet owner and the person that was complaining,” says Breaux. Plus the fines go up from a maximum of $250 to a max of $500.

If you're trying to train your dog to stop barking, some use an electric shock, others use an ultra-sonic sound frequency; some even use a burst of citronella spray.

“We don't want to make people get rid of their animals. We just want to figure out a way to help them live at peace with their neighbors,” explains Breaux. She says if the ordinance passes, animal services will work with people. They won't just start fining them immediately.
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