WILTON — The Board of Selectmen made no changes to a proposed animal control ordinance after a public hearing Tuesday.

They listened to two of four residents who made comments and asked questions.

The ordinance will be sent to the town attorney for review and returned to the board for approval to place it on the warrant for June’s annual town meeting, Town Manager Rhonda Irish said.

Tom Marble asked the board if it would be a violation if his dogs barked when someone passes by on the rail bed trail behind his home. He said the rail bed is busy and the dogs respond when someone goes by.

The ordinance defines a violation as barking and howling constantly for one hour or intermittently for three hours, and barking that can be heard beyond the boundary of the property.

If a dog barks five minutes during one hour, two minutes the second hour and two minutes a third hour, that’s intermittently for three hours, Michele Marble said. She said the proposed ordinance doesn’t take into account what caused the dog to bark.


Issues with barking dogs are not usually during the day but at night, Animal Control Officer Wayne Atwood said.

For someone trying to go to sleep, an hour of barking is a long time, Selectman Terry Brann said.

“I’d like to shorten it to half an hour,” he said, but agreed to leave it for voters to decide.

“There’s not a lot of complaints,” Atwood said.  If there’s a problem, “I speak to the owner. It’s not a big issue.”

Attached to the ordinance is a log for people to fill out that includes the date, times and number of dogs barking, Atwood said. These are filled out and taken to the police to decide whether it warrants a summons, he said.

“Complaints come from the people,” Irish said. “There will be no dog patrol.”


The board also discussed how hunting, working and guard dogs can be exempted on an incident-by-incident basis. 

In other business, Irish reported that 50 foreclosure notices were sent this month. All but one property owner came to the Town Office to pay on their back taxes.

The town foreclosed on one property, she said. It’s a house across from the Forster mill on Depot Street near the entrance to Davis Court.

The board decided to wait until the snow melts before deciding what to do with the property. A public hearing will be held before anything is done, Irish said.


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