Thursday, November 17, 2005

Phoenix Moves To Decriminalize Barking Dogs

Fido's incessant barking may not make you a criminal anymore. The Phoenix City Council's Public Safety Subcommittee voted Tuesday to decriminalize keeping a barking dog - but only for the first offense.

This is GREAT news! In most communities, they have inhumane dog barking laws.

I’m all for letting people have peaceful enjoyment of their property, free from incessant dog barking. But, there are wackos out there that hate dogs and will go after you if your dog barks at all.

It shouldn’t be a crime if your dog barks from time to time, even if the neighbors can hear your dog.

Just as we have background traffic noise, airplane noise, crying baby noise, kids playing noise, lawnmower and leaf blower noise… some of this needs to be tolerated in a civil society. So, too, should there be reasonableness when it comes to dog barking and whining and howling. All that goes with living around other people.

If you want total silence, the city or suburbs aren’t the place to live. Dog Haters want it the other way. They think YOU should move somewhere else. Guess what? It isn’t going to work that way. Majority rules in this country. And you nutcases should go somewhere you can be a hermit, not the other way around.

It is ridiculous and unreasonable to require people living in cities or suburbs to make no noise at all, regardless of the source. If you are that anti-social, you need to get a professional mental evaluation, and maybe get psychological counselling and take some behavior modifying drugs, not call the police. Just think on this one, if some background dog barking makes you angry: why is it that only YOU have this problem? If 99.999% of the people are just fine with it, but not you... hmmm... maybe you have anger management issues that need addressing? Maybe the problem is YOU, not your neighbor's dog? Why are YOU the one getting in a legal dispute with your neighbor? Do you also have abuse issues (alcoholism, drug abuse, spousal abuse, personality disorders, trouble in your relationships with others, etc.)? What is the real problem in your life?

On balance, there should be reasonable standards for what level and duration of barking triggers a legal citation from animal control. There are people who are irresponsible with their pets. Barking isn't always just a nuisance. It can mean someone is hurting or neglecting their dog. Incessant, loud barking, whining or howling is not only annoying, it can be a sign that a dog is in trouble... or that someone in the home is in trouble. In those cases, we do want animal control involved, to check up on the home situation. But, please, don't take your grudges out on other people, or their dogs, if we are just talking about a bit of whining from a lonely dog right after the master goes to work, or some excited barking when the family comes home or a trespasser enters the dog's territory, or the dog is playing fetch with the owner and barks for another toss of the toy. We need a balanced approach.

So, for today…

Score one for Phoenix!

Way to go!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

A barking dog is an "abused" dog, plain and simple.

They are usually dogs that are confined, concentration camp style, in a fenced in back yard, rarely exercised and never walked around their neighborhoods.

Not being made familiar with the environs outside their yards, they are terrified of everything they hear or smell, and the bark accordingly.

These dogs are in the prisons their "caring" owners have selfishly designed.

In the same circumstances, you'd be barking too.

And your "keeper" would eventually end up in jail.