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Owners of barking dogs face fines in Chicago

Owners of dogs that make “excessive noise ” could face fines of  up to $250 a day under an ordinance approved yesterday by a Chicago City Council committee.

Excessive noise is defined in the proposed ordinance as “repeated or habitual barking, whining, crying, howling (and) whimpering,” according to the Chicago Tribune

The law would apply to any animal, but the article doesn’t make clear whether that includes humans.

“It’s not an anti-dog thing,” said Alderman Patrick O’Connor, who co-sponsored the measure . “It’s not preventing dogs from being dogs. It just means that if you let your dog bark all day everyday, disturbing peace for people in the area, there’s a possibility now that police can do something.”

Under the law, the noise would have to occur continually for at least 10 minutes or intermittently for “a significant portion of the night.” It also would have to be louder than the average conversation at a distance of 100 feet or more. Complaints about a dog from three residents, from different addresses, could also trigger enforcement, leading to fines of $50 to $250.

O’Connor noted the two dogs who live at his home “could be the poster children for this ordinance — two small, little yappy dogs, but if I leave them out for hours on end, I’m an irresponsible dog owner.”

The ordinance still needs approval from the full City Council.


Comment from Anna
Time October 2, 2009 at 10:43 am

A fine for barking dogs? Well, that is understandable if the owners do not do anything about it and leave the dog out all day and night.

Comment from RRLedford
Time October 8, 2009 at 8:59 pm

Having to keep your windows closed from yapping/barking & A-C running when open windows would make A-C not needed, is not a GREEN way to live! I lived next to an 8- dachshund house where they seemed to have contests for which dog could yap the longest. All day long sheer hell torture. It seems that dog owner ears just block the sound – but mine sure DON’T! This law is good news!

Comment from patrick Kasch
Time October 17, 2009 at 3:29 am

Does this law exist for annoying kids or teens? I am 27 so not an old fuddy duddy but you know what the neighbors 5 year olds are far more annoying during my waking ours than my dog that barks sometimes.