A Chihuahua barks to other dogs during the Philippine Animal Welfare Society's (PAWS) annual Halloween fund raising event, Manila, 2011.
If you think that the bulk of what L.A.’s Animal Services Department does is deal with runaway pets, think again.
According to LAAS general manager Brenda Barnette, the majority of the department’s cases involve excessive barking. Under L.A.’s current “barking law,” when a complaint is filed, a hearing is scheduled, but only if the dog is licensed by the city. Effectively rewarding pet owners for NOT licensing their pets, the policy has also resulted in a six-month backlog of hearings—or, lot of extra air time for that howling beagle next door. On Tuesday, the L.A. City Council voted unanimously to amend the city’s barking law, introducing a graduated system of fines—$250 for the first offense, $500 for the second, and $1000 for the third—that will apply to pooches regardless of whether they have provenance, and that will hopefully bring some relief to both LAAS and our beleagured eardrums.
How much are you willing to pay to keep that chihuahua?
Brenda Barnette, general manager, Los Angeles Animal Services
Michael Chill, dog trainer and behavior specialist