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Noisy Dogs Could Net Stiffer Penalties in Akron

photo of Russ Neal
Councilman Russ Neal says his constituents and others around the city have called him to say excessive dog barking is a problem. Since his proposal was announced, he's also gotten calls from people in Illinois and California.

Akron City Council meets Monday to get more information about a proposal that would increase penalties for people whose dogs are cited for excessive barking.

Councilman Russ Neal says he came up with the proposal after hearing from constituents – and even people from the rest of Akron – that excessive barking is a problem.  The ordinance would make a second excessive barking offense a fourth-degree misdemeanor, which could carry up to 30 days in jail and a maximum fine of $250.

“We would hope -- and I’m sure our judges would use discernment in -- how to levy the fine.  Just to get people to change their actions.  And I think the $250 would, hopefully, be enough to get people to do that.”

Currently, excessive barking is a minor misdemeanor with a maximum penalty of $150.

“The thing is, for the people that have had this continuous problem, this has not been enough to persuade people to change the way they maintain their dogs.”

Neal adds that the meeting will include members of law enforcement and animal control.

Kabir Bhatia joined WKSU as a Reporter/Producer and weekend host in 2010. While a Kent State student, Bhatia served as a WKSU student assistant, working in the newsroom and for production.