Second public hearing on barking dog ordinance set for Tuesday

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FARMINGTON — Selectmen will hold a second public hearing on a proposed barking dog ordinance when they meet at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at the town office.

The board voted last month to keep the ordinance on the March 20 town meeting warrant. The board also directed town staff to revise the ordinance after dog owners and neighbors expressed concern about it during the packed public hearing.

The ordinance was developed after the town received complaints about Jean Perron’s 20 sled dogs at her Whittier Road property. As of last month, she faced 44 court summonses for civil violations of disturbing the peace as an owner of barking dogs.

Perron’s neighbor David Lucas sought help from the town ordinances after ongoing barking and howling, often at feeding time or in early morning hours, disrupted his family’s lives and those of other neighbors.

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The town’s dog ordinance had little to say about barking dogs which led town staff to draft one specifically for noisy canines. Dog owners questioned how the new ordinance would affect working and hunting dogs as well as those disturbed by coyotes or other intruders within their territory.

The ordinance covers dogs that bark constantly due to neglect or confinement, Town Manager Richard Davis said.

Other issues of concern centered on the short amount of time from drafting the law to voting on it, and how the ordinance goes from complaint to court without use of a mediator to help settle disputes.

abryant@sunjournal.com

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