New dog barking ordinance promotes hate, animal cruelty

Dog owners beware: your barking pooch could land you in court – or worse – thanks to a new Pima County barking ordinance that goes into effect May 5.

Art and photo Ryn Gargulinski

Art and photo Ryn Gargulinski

Under the new ordinance just passed by the Pima County Board of Supervisors, dog barking complaints will bring stricter penalties.

The same fines of $50 to $500 per day still stand, but the complaint process is sped up and, if found guilty of two violations, owners could find themselves in justice court where judges are free to dispense punishment as they see fit.

Do not pass go. Do not collect $200.

Such harsh penalties for a barking dog ranks right up there with the $250,000 fine and five years in prison promised by the federal government for the heinous crime of using a rented or personal DVD for profit.

Since my dog Phoebe’s nickname happens to be “Phoebladine the Barking Machine,” you may guess we are not in favor of this new rule.

Neither is a Tucson schnauzer and his dog pal Sadie.

“Although my human strives to keep my girl Sadie and I quiet when she’s home, we are free to do as we please when she isn’t home and now we fear that we’re going to end up costing her money one day by just being who we are and protecting our property,” the dogs’ owner writes in an e-mail.

“Everyone gets walked up and down our blocks, and Sadie is the self-appointed block crier (or more accurately barker) that passes along the call to the dogs on the next block. If it’s really juicy I join in. There are many dogs on our block, every house has at least one, so we can hear when someone’s coming and get ready for the fun. But now we fear that the dogless people walking by, or just about anyone, may find our greetings annoying enough to file a complaint that could penalize our human. Or even send her to jail.”

These fears are valid, especially in an era rife with intolerance and neighborly hate. Phoebe is nowhere near a 24-hour barker, either, but who is to say how far some folks will go to simply be malicious.

Another huge fear stemming from this ordinance is that it could promote animal cruelty.

Owners that do deserve the repercussions of such an ordinance are likely to be neglectful to begin with. Threaten them with even harsher penalties and the results could be disastrous.

A poor rescue pooch that used to frequent Brandi Fenton Dog Park actually had his vocal cords removed. The new owner said he came that way. The dog still wanted to bark, and tried to, producing a sad, raspy noise that left him wholly confused and distraught.

Taping a dog’s mouth shut with duct tape is another act of cruelty that may become an option. One man I knew did it to a dog he was watching for the weekend. He first stuck the barking dog outside in his SUV until the neighbors called the cops. He then taped the dog’s mouth shut and shoved the pooch in the closet.

Such cruelty was also the case for at least one dog that ended up in the Pima Animal Care Center. “Someone had taped her mouth shut with duct tape, shot her with an arrow and was suffering from a very serious eye infection,” a writeup on the PACC website says.


Yes, a dog that barks incessantly is a nuisance and some type of ordinance should be in place to help deter it.

But if such severe penalties are a possibility, we need a narrower definition of “incessantly” and what constitutes a violation.

Dog-barking violations are already the top complaint flooding into Pima Animal Care Center. Pushing all those violations to justice court will clog up the system even worse than it already is.

Please note, too, proceeds from the violations go to the Pima Animal Care Center. We would hope a nice yard sale or dog ice cream social fundraiser would be a better way to make some money.


Art and photo Ryn Gargulinski

Art and photo Ryn Gargulinski

wb-logolilWhat do you think?

Is the new ordinance too harsh?

Have you had problems with barking dogs, either owning or reporting them?

Whatever happened to talking to the neighbor about the problem rather than running to authorities?


About Rynski

Writer, artist, performer who specializes in the weird, wacky and sometimes creepy. Learn more at
This entry was posted in Crime, danger, life, Pets/animals, Police/fire/law, politics, Stupidity and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

78 Responses to New dog barking ordinance promotes hate, animal cruelty

  1. leftfield says:

    Fear not, Ryn.  Practically speaking, PACC is so underfunded that enforcement is almost non-existent.  Pursuing a barking complaint is probably going to be up to the individual.  They will have to document things and, by the time their complaint actually gets to court, both of you and the dog will likely haved moved or died.

    BTW – I’m starting to get Farley’s fascination with the Captcha.

    Government Coal

    • Rynski says:

      hahha! hiya leftfield aka government coal,
      i’m laughing at your captcha fascination, not the pacc underfunding.
      thanks, though, for the message of hope that we’ll be dead before the possibility of any barking violation sending us to jail.
      we do feel much better now.
      you do outline a good argument for the above…we hope you’re right!

  2. Barker says:

    Personally folks, I’ve owned dogs all my life. And I’ve also been annoyed with other peoples’ barking dogs in the neighborhood we live in now. Some folks just put their dogs outside their houses, shut the door and forget them.
    Dogs are social animals and you are their family and their pack. They want to be with you, not abandoned outside alone. A barking dog problem is a neglect problem and incredibly disturbing to neighbors.
    imo, the penalty should be severe and swift given the aggravation to neighbors trying to sleep or just enjoy their yards and being able to have windows open on nice days.

    • Rynski says:

      hiya barker,
      thanks for input.
      i agree that those who neglect their dogs should definitely be penalized. also think pet ownership should come with mandatory classes (haha but not really…).
      i disagree, however, that EVERY barking dog is a neglected dog. there has to be a way to discern one from the other instead of imposing a blanket barking penalty.

  3. Brad says:

    I say take out the vocal chords. Your characterization seems like anthropomorphism. My aunt and uncle had their dog’s vocal chords removed, and she is still barking away as much as ever. She is not “confused” or “distraught” in any way whatsoever. She has lived happily with a whispery bark for many, many years – and so have my aunt and uncle and their neighbors. Sometimes I think you put dogs before people, Ryn – and please don’t give the black-and-white, predictable answer that some dogs are better than some people. P.S. – Are your dogs neutered and/or spayed? Isn’t that cruel, to remove their reproductive organs against their will for your own convenience or the convenience of society in general? Please don’t give the pat answer that you are preventing pound puppies. Your dog can only breed if you let it. Period.

    • Rynski says:

      hiya brad,
      so glad to hear your aunt’s and uncle’s dog is not “confused” or “distraught” following the vocal cord surgery, although i have to ask if you, too, are anthropomorphizing by saying the dog has lived happily?
      i still can’t say i’m a fan of taking out vocal cords, but i am on the spay and neutering bandwagon. in addition to stopping the breeding, the procedure cuts down on the animal’s tendency to stray, fight and make messes on household carpeting and other items. you did not specifically state if you were a fan of spaying and neutering, but it seems you are not. if that is the case, it also seems your spay/neuter argument of leaving the organs intact would also apply to vocal cords, no?
      p.s. is it really that horrible to put dogs before people? just curious….
      p.p.s. i don’t put dogs before EVERYBODY….

      • Enelrad says:

        Nice response; Brad acts as if animals were put here for our amusement and pleasure; nothing more.  I think he’d have to be reincarnated about 500 more times before he is enlightened….

      • Rynski says:

        hahah! thanks, enelrad!

  4. David says:

    This has NOTHING to do with the dogs and if you think so YOU have no accountability for your lack of care for your dog which by the way includes respecting your neighbors space and your barking dog left unattended is offensive and thats on you not the dog.

  5. azmouse says:

    Well, I see both sides of the coin. I’ve always owned dogs, but prefer to try and stay away from breeds/mixed breeds known for their barking and yapping. So far, I haven’t had a problem personally.

    We do have a poodle in the neighborhood who barks 24/7. Myself, I would never call the authorities but I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t annoying. Even when he is in his house and I am in my house I can hear his yappyness. I know my neighbor has tried everything, even shock collars and those ones that emit a high pitch when the dog barks but nothing seems to work. I feel bad for her because I know she tries, but I also think she’s kind of used to it.

    I think that dogs that bark or a neighbor kid that eggs people’s houses or the guy down the street that drives up and down the road a little too fast are all apart of living in a neighborhood.
    I’ve had to talk to the egg throwers parent’s twice already…and his Dad is a police officer.

    captch…personal corn

    • Rynski says:

      hiya azmouse,
      thanks for level-headed input.
      our nabe, too, is plagued by a yapper, this one happens to be one of those toy breeds that has high-pitched screams that often sound like the poor thing is being skinned.
      no, i’m not going to report the noise – although i would report if a dog were, in fact, being skinned. the dog is not neglected. it’s just the way it is.

      i’ve also had discussions with others who got older shelter dogs (i.e. phoebe) and they, too, have a tendency to bark a lot. again, it’s not 24/7 but it is at anything that walks by….
      so crummy about the incessant egg-throwing – esp. with a dad who is a police officer! – think i’d rather live next to the poodle…

  6. leftfield says:

    This is an emotional issue for both the offending pet owners and the offended neighbors.  Once your noise, odor, light, etc, leaves your personal space, the potential is there that you are invading someone else’s personal space and this is rarely welcome.  

    There are a variety of remedies available and surgery is one of them.  I doubt anyone resorts to surgery at the first sign of a problem; likely only after all other attempts have failed.  It’s probably not the easiest or least invasive way to deal with things, but it is better than being dead. 

    • Rynski says:

      wow, the surgery still seems so cruel to me – brad (above) says it’s not. what’s your take on it?
      you are also right-on about this being an emotional issue.

      • azmouse says:

        I am an extremely patient person, I think, AND have been told. I have on rare occasions on a day off when I’m home listening to the poodle across the street gone out in my front yard and yelled the dogs name just hoping for a 30 second reprieve.
        I love all animals and don’t mind barking at all, but this dog is the most extreme case I’ve come across. Still, I won’t complain to even my neighbor. I know she tries. I wouldn’t want the dog altered either.

        Is there any kind of dog training that can help a constant barker? Personally, a dog that barks whenever someone or something goes by is normal and is what they should do. I’m thinking for the really out of control barker…

      • leftfield says:

        Hi again.  I was off working all day; getting paid chicken feed to buy chicken feed.

        Well, I don’t know what aspect of this surgery or surgeries in general that might be considered cruel by you.  My take on it is that I can see how many people might be forced to choose between several unpleasant options: moving the family, relinquishing the dog(s), euthanasia, etc, etc.  Whether it is less or more cruel to put a dog to sleep vs having the dog “debarked” is something I doubt everyone can agree on.  Me, I would opt to debark the dog before I dropped it off at PACC or put it to sleep. 

        Think how much better off the world would be today if certain dogs (Dick Cheney comes to mind) had been debarked long ago.

      • Rynski says:

        thanks for your take on it, lefty. i know you have a way with – and affinity for – critters, so i was wanting to know what you’d say.
        OK, i’ll give you that much:
        1. debarking is not as cruel as, say, running over a dog with a lawn mower, sticking a fork in its eye or otherwise killing it
        2. hahaha! i’ll agree with certain dogs (of the human kind) needing debarking! i can think of a few yippy whiny ones myself! ahhahaha

  7. Veganman says:

    “Debarking” is a horrible surgery. Brad’s a dick. 🙂

  8. John Kennedy says:

    I’d be more OK with barking dogs if they’d crack down on breeders. Breeding is a business that makes money, so it doesn’t belong in neighbourhoods. The occasional barking dog is a part of life.
    We have 3 dogs, none really bark much.

  9. John Kennedy says:

    Another thing about incessantly yappy small dogs…. it’s like the “crying wolf” scenario. They don’t alert any suspicious activity in the area. And yes, the neighbours have a legitimate right to peace and quiet, especially at night.

    • Rynski says:

      hiya john,
      yeah, breeders in neighborhoods doesn’t seem like a good mix – just because of the amount of room/noise levels/etc. and i also see your profit point.
      as for yappy small dogs – i had a yapeveryminute miniature pinscher once and she was enough to drive anyone insane. yes, she would cry wolf – and then some. the worst was her night barking when she would bark at every little movement you made in your bed. it made for some sleepless nights, for sure. now i just have big fat barks a lot but not incessantly phoebe. (and the very quiet sawyer who would stealthily kill an intruder before he ever saw the dog coming….)

  10. jennatoolz says:

    When I was a kid, we ended up adopting a former show dog and she had her vocal chords removed. I assumed it was because she was a show dog. I can *somewhat* see the point of having that surgery since dog shows seem to be serious business…and who wants a barking dog there?
    Personally though, I wouldn’t invest money into putting my dog through that surgery (I felt bad enough when I got Dante neutered recently, poor lil guy). Both my dogs enjoy running to the far right corner of my backyard to bark back to one of the neighbors dogs that is barking. It can become a real bark-fest in my neighborhood sometimes..but that’s just what dogs do. If it gets too crazy, I make them come inside and they stop.

    • Rynski says:

      hiya jenna,
      thanks for input – and good for you on having a solution to the bark-fest when i arises. double good your solution doesn’t involve surgery.
      hope dante is recovered from his operation. p.s. did the show dog look “confused” or “distraught” about her vocal cord removal? (hahahhaahaha)

      • Jennatoolz says:

        hahah,  she was just fine…as happy and beautiful as can be! 🙂

        Oh Dante…he got pretty destructive with that cone on his head too. His favorite game was to ram into your legs with it…or the “Lets see how long it takes for me to take out the trim along the back door with this cone” game. It was a rough couple of weeks, but Dante (and our legs) are all healed up!!

      • azmouse says:

        Where are pictures of Zen?? I’m so curious to see her!

      • jennatoolz says:

        Patience my dear azmouse! 😉

      • azmouse says:


  11. andrew says:

    Dogs are unfortunately only as smart as their owners. Hey everybody! Personal corn and gov’t coal, Hahahahahha I’m so frickin’ glad I live in the sticks where my dog is as free as I am, we both run naked in the desert, wrinkle sacks intact, HA! FAR-LOGS get your far-logs. and a new invention- metal detector insoles with ear buds. More to follow. “lonesome nights” i.t.c.

    • Rynski says:

      hahha! on your new invention…
      and glad to hear both you and dog are out there having fun – hhaha.
      i would have to disagree a bit, however, on your statement that dogs are only as smart as their owners. i’ve seen dogs who were WAY more intelligent than that – hahahhahaha

    • leftfield says:

      we both run naked in the desert, wrinkle sacks intact,

      TMI, dude, TMI.

      Pinpoint Cation

  12. Hoosier Woman says:

    I have a weiner dog named Pepper. She only barks when she hears that someone is coming to our house or to the two neighbors on either side of us. When she hears that car door slam, she thinks someone is here. BARK BARK BARK It happens when my next door neighbors come home too. When they get into their house, Pepper stops barking. She doesnt bark at night, she sleeps all night long on a loveseat in the same room as me. She mostly stays indoors. I dont hook her on a chain and let her stay outdoors. Even if I had a fenced in yard I would not just leave her outdoors to do whatever. When she is outdoors…I am too. I even have her trained to stay on the front porch with me without being on a leash. She is happy to just sit on the porch with me. She doesnt take off and leave me and the porch. When I pick up her leash she knows it is time for a walk…off of the porch. She loves to go for walks. I however do have a neighbor that lives 2 doors down from me. When he sees me and my dog sitting out on our porch he barks at her! He likes to get her all wound up and of course she hates him and will Pepper start barking up a storm! I cant stand him either. I told him that if he doesnt stop harassing me and my dog I will call the cops on him. Me and Pepper are just sitting outside enjoying the day and this nincompoop has to start messing with my dog like he is a 2 year old!Some people are just stupid!

    • Rynski says:

      hey hoosier woman,
      sounds like you and pepper make fine neighbors – good for you both. not good on the annoying neighbor who harasses her. that’s just silly – although i am glad it gave you a chance to use the word nincompoop. that is an awesome word!
      i don’t know how i’d deal with such a dude. he sounds like a real winner.

    • winnieotoole says:

      There is a collar available that discourages over-barking. I don’t know much more about it, but I bet it would be easy enough to locate with a Google search. Assuming this collar is humane (and I believe that is the case), the cost of a collar would certainly be less than fines and/or going to court.

  13. radmax says:

    Hmmm, hello Rynski! I’d have to say that removing the vocal cords seems extreme but so is incessant barking. If all else fails, could be the only option.
    A nice, “shut the hell up” usually worked well with Bear, and she seldom barks unless some kids are messing around in the alley.
    Oh, and;
    “(and the very quiet sawyer who would stealthily kill an intruder before he ever saw the dog coming….)”…Sawyer is one cool canine Rynski! 🙂

    • Rynski says:

      hiya radmax!
      glad bear responds to the o-so-kind “shut the hell up” – hahahah – phoebe will often stop when i thank her, as if she’s doing something really important or, better yet, when i start speaking french to her.
      vous etes mon petit chien, mon bon chien…
      oh! and sawyer thanks you for the compliment – he is cool – just don’t tell him or it will go to his head and he’ll want even more treats…

  14. It is ridiculous to think that dog owners are somehow above the law.  Dog barking is noise and should attract penalties the same as other noise does.  No one, for instance, wants to be kept awake off and on all night with a dog barking, or have it intrude on whatever they are doing all day long.  It is an assault.  What should be done is for the authorities to screen all potential dog owners before they are given a licence to keep a dog.  In Switzerland, it is necessary to take a 10-week course in dog care which the owner must pay for.  He must then pass a test.
    Re the cruelty cases you cite.  A dog left in a van all the time is certain to bark.  So the owner was a cruel s.o.b. in the first place and should never have been allowed to keep a dog.  Go to for comprehensive information.  Signed:  Audrey Robb in Australia

    • Rynski says:

      hi audrey robb in australia,
      i am OVERJOYED! to hear switzerland has mandatory dog care course. that is the BEST!!! i’m definitely on that bandwagon.
      also agree that guy who stuck dog in SUV was a cruel sob and he later proved that to the hilt. not just cruelty to dogs, but to all living things. the way folks treat animals is often soooo indicative of their general nature.
      thanks so much for chiming in.

    • leftfield says:

      I love the idea of there being an educational requirement before one can assume ownership of a dog in Switzerland.  Unfortunately, this seems unlikely to ever happen here in the US.  With rare exception, Americans tend to favor individual freedom over the common welfare, and certainly over the welfare of animals.

  15. Dog Lover says:

    I’m glad this new law got your attention. Clearly you have no idea how horrific a barking situation can become… it is a bullying situation, performed by people, with dogs as the instrument.
    Really, your article here is fairly well-balanced… it’s the title that sucks. Promotes hate, seriously? Wow. You’ve used isolated cases of animal cruelty to make your point, but have you considered that the 24×7 barking dog is also a victim of cruelty?
    I appreciate your effort at journalism, but your bias makes your points moot.

    • Rynski says:

      hi dog lover,
      thanks for comment. i guess i’m glad i am not aware of how truly horrific a barking situation can become – we don’t have any 24/7-ers around here. that’s a good thing. also good point on a dog that barks that much may be a victim of cruelty.
      for the record, this is an opinion site. thus my writings usually reflect my opinion and lots of bias. that’s the way they are written.
      as for the ‘promotes hate’ – perhaps ‘intolerance’ would be a better word. the hate/intolerance point was supported by:
      “But now we fear that the dogless people walking by, or just about anyone, may find our greetings annoying enough to file a complaint that could penalize our human. Or even send her to jail.”
      These fears are valid, especially in an era rife with intolerance and neighborly hate. Phoebe is nowhere near a 24-hour barker, either, but who is to say how far some folks will go to simply be malicious.
      so glad you appreciate ‘my effort at journalism.’ i’ll have to keep practicing until i get it “write” – hahahaha. p.s. should i also give back those journalism awards or is it OK to keep them?

      • Dog Lover says:

        In the future, you’d be wise to consider both sides of this fence before forming your opinion and writing about it.  You obviously cannot imagine how bad this can get, and how much it can damage the health and lives of humans when they cannot escape the noise, even in their own homes due to a bully of a neighbor.  Let’s hear those sad stories, too.

  16. kate says:

    i just like dog owners to be more considerate of people who like some peace and quiet.  please consider the following, you are to have surgery tomorrow, your surgeon can’t get any decent rest due to barking dogs.

  17. Jim says:

    Do these people have no other things to worry about? The state is facing bankruptcy and you are worried about dogs barking.   Get ready for for many dogs to be given up . No one in the right mind will go to court for a dog.  Let’s worry about some real issues not dogs.

    • Happy Dogs says:

      I am sure the same thing was said about pollution, cigarette smoking, and child abuse before these issues were recognized as very important public issues. Let’s get a little perspective here.
      The last time I reported a bad barking dog problem the dog turned out to be undefed, neglected, and infected with worms and needed to be rescued. It took  weeks because everyone was “oh, don’t we have more IMPORTANT things to worry about?” God forbid we should “rat out” a neighbor because we gotta be cool with everyone, right? Nevermind that half the people in the building were griping about the barking dog, keeping babies awake, etc, because nobody wanted to rock the boat and endured it in silence while the dog suffered needlessly for weeks.

  18. brsipaq says:

    “Separation Anxiety”, “Lonliness”, “Boredom”, “Attention Seeking”, are just a few of the reasons why backyard barkers go at it.  Obviously they are not being given a well-balanced life by their owners.

    An owner can choose to create an environment where their well-mannered, well-behaved, good canine citizens frolic around without being a nuisance or aggressively charging their neighbors for (gasp) just wanting to step into their own backyard.  The concepts behind properly training, excersizing, and socializing dogs are pretty straight forward.  Lazy approaches also exist such as de-barking or anti-barking devices.

    Dogs have the natural ability to bark.  But they also have the natural ability NOT to bark.  Owners have the freedom to have dogs, that’s not being taken away by this law.  But owners also have a responsibility towards their dogs and neighbors.

    The sound level of a single barking dog can easily exceed 100 decibels.  100 decibels is 16 times louder than normal conversation.

    Since people need to be able to quietly enjoy the single most important place they have – – their own home – – this law puts those owners who fail in their respect and responsibility towards others on notice.

    So Rynski, why do you disagree with a law that will protect people and will not harm responsible dog owners.


  19. jp says:

    so many good comments regarding anti barking issues here.   you would do well to listen and learn how this blight is increasingly becoming a worse health issue day by day. was a good ref.

    please note, when you speak of how this will harm dogs.  dogs are being harmed every day as well as humans because of recalcitrant bully  owners that refuse to deal with the need of the rights of people to have peace.

    if you read the news you will see that people are at breaking points with this and are tired of hearing “live with it”.  well, dogs are now being poisioned, people are shooting each other in disputes.  no anti barker on the websites that are mentioned advocate violence or harm to dogs.  it’s not the dog’s fault, but when you have an unreasonable bully dog owner and a neighbor who’s either a possible bully, or  just so far “gone” with the daily force fed barking, they take action into their own hands when the laws won’t.  again, no one advocates this, but join the real world and know this is what many sufferers are finding as a result of going off the deep end.  i think stronger laws will protect the animals from irresponsible owners.

    thanks for your time. 

  20. quietarizona says:

    The members of Quiet Pima County would like to thank the hundreds of Animal Noise suffering residents in Pima County, Kim Janes of Pima Animal Care, The Advisory Board at PACC,  The director for the Pima County Board of Health, Mr. Douglas ,the Advisory Board at the Department of Health, Sharon Bronson District 3 representative for the Board of Supervisors and the UNANIMOUS vote by the Board of Supervisors to enact this ordinance. It was a honor working with them and their staffs.

    This is groundbreaking legislation. It is the ONLY civil Animal Noise legislation in the United States that has a provision for repeat offenders.

    Quiet Pima County is proud to have been a part of the process from its inception to the final outcome.

    Animal noise is not a neighborhood dispute. It is a health hazard.

    For more information on starting up a “Quiet” community in your neighborhood, town, city, county or state, please visit

    Please do not leave your dog unattended.

  21. A well trained dog is a good dog says:

    In the April 2010 issue of Reader’s Digest, the “Ask Laskas” advice column included a letter from the owner of two rescued dogs. According to the letter writer, the dogs do a lot of barking, and that has the neighbors upset.

    Matter of fact, those neighbors are upset enough to be blowing a loud whistle. Or they’re yelling “Shut up!” and embellishing this message with profanities.

    The owner says that three different dog trainers were consulted. And, in essence, those trainers said, “Dogs bark.” The dog owner wonders about going over to talk to the neighbors, but is concerned about facing their hostility in person.

    Advice columnist Jeanne Marie Laskas responds with two words of advice: bark collar. She goes on to explain the various types of bark collars and how they work.

    Laskas concludes by saying, “We animal lovers need to be respectful of our neighbors. A constantly barking dog is like living next to a jackhammer.”
    So, there you have it from the Reader’s Digest. If you own a dog, take responsibility for it. Don’t inflict its noise on your neighbors.

  22. leftfield says:

    I had a feeling that this one was gonna get a lot of responses, Ryn.

      britons persuade

  23. Leon Jackson says:

    The new rules aren’t too harsh.
    In general, speaking  to a dog owner who allows their dog to bark and annoy others (or to crap on another’s property or on public property) is a waste of time.

  24. John Kennedy says:

    I posted on this subject earlier, and would like to bring up a point not mentioned yet.
    As owner of 3 dogs, the one Sheltie we have was de-barked via surgery BEFORE we even met and adopted him. His voice grew back within 2 years. I wouldn’t recommend de-barking surgery. He’s a well trained inside dog with a wiring problem up there, but dearly loved.

  25. Happy Dogs says:

    Dogs bark because that is how they are communicating, not just because “dogs bark because they are dogs.” A certain amount of barking is to be expected, but a happy healthy and well adjusted dog will not bark often, or for prolonged time unless there is a good reason -intruder, left alone for too long, unsure of outdoor territory, too little space with other dogs too near.
    Dogs require a lot of attention, almost like a parrot or a child. And a lot of people don’t seem to get that.  Even small dogs who are known to be yappers can be quiet if they are given enough attention. I had a chihuahua next door was very calm and barked only as a greeting. Her owner lavished a lot of soothing attention on her. Same goes for beagles, who are listed as the most barking dog. A big one lives downstairs and I hear it only once in a blue moon. Owner takes care of him and gives him a lot of loving attention when the owner is home.
    If your dog is barking a lot, he is trying to tell you something he is not happy about. And just because you are tone deaf to your dog, others may not be, and can hear the pain in the dog’s bark. That is why it is unpleasant.
    BTW, I am against vocal cord surgery and barking collars.

  26. Marie says:

    I live in Pima County and I am one of the individuals pushing for stricter laws. 

    Because of a disability, I work out of my home and don’t have the luxury of getting away whenever I want.  My rude neighbors (note the plural) allow their dogs to bark all day, every day.  It is incredibly stressful.

    Asking doesn’t work.  Complaining doesn’t work.  But paying a fine does.

    I don’t view barking dogs as beneficial or positive in any regard.  I would no more know that the pooch’s incessant barking was because of a squirrel or a masked burglar, nor would anyone else.  You’re not doing your neighborhood any favors by allowing your dog to bark.  it’s like the car alarm that goes off every night, it no longer serves its intended purpose but it sure does piss off the neighbors.

    Note, I’m not talking about a dog that barks two or three times when someone approaches their front door — I’m talking about dogs that bark at every car, person walking down the street, other dogs, cats, emergency vehicles and so forth.

    If your dog is announcing every visitor to your street, it’s a problem.  And not just for your immediate neighbors, my problem dogs are on the next block.

    I suggest you be a good neighbor and bark train your dog.

    • Rynski says:

      thanks for input, marie.
      glad to hear SOMETHING works in your neighborhood – if it has to be a fine, so be it. the more i read about the problem people have with barking dogs, the more i realize that – thank goodness! – phoebe is nowhere near this vocal, even though her nickname is ‘the barking machine.’
      wow, folks – all of you helped me see the barking dog horror out there. you gave a lot of excellent examples – and some very non-excellent situations – where this ordinance seems to have a valid place. thank you. also thank you for clearing up that my ‘barking machine’ dog is not likely to be targeted.

  27. brsipaq says:


    What’s up with the “…promotes hate, animal cruelty”?  Nothing you state justifies this title?

    A dog owner allowing his/her dogs to habitually bark is the one promoting hate.  And its cruel to the dog to not respond to its pleas for attention!

    It seems now that you’ve ‘gone into hiding’?  Its fine to voice your opinion, but it seems clear you are abusing you position as a “reporter”.  Why not respond to the facts / opinions?

    Sorry for appearing harsh, but your behavior is unacceptable in my opinion and needs to be called out.

    • Rynski says:

      dearest brsipaq,
      i am completely honored and appreciative that you say it’s fine for me to voice my opinion on my own blog. whew. i wasn’t sure, but i’m glad you cleared that up.
      i am not replying to every single comment because i’ve already stated my stance as well as replied to “facts/opinions” in the above comments, including the concerns you’ve raised (i.e. your concerns about the title were addressed in comment to DOG LOVER above).

      it seems silly, not to mention tedious and redundant, for me to keep repeating myself.
      it seems silly, not to mention tedious and redundant, for me to keep repeating myself.

      as i also mentioned in an above comment, i have never experienced some of the truly horrible dog barking situations people have brought up. from what i’m hearing, those situations do seem to require something quite stringent – like the new ordinance – for the owners to correct the problem.
      i will also still stand by my belief that this ordinance could be abused and used against those who do not deserve it.
      i am glad people are sharing their experiences, input and opinions on the issue. that’s what the comments are here for. thanks to all of you – and just because i do not respond to each comment does not mean i do not read them.
      after all, i do have to ‘go into hiding’ while i write my daily slate of blog entries.
      for the record, phoebe has been quiet as a non-squeaky mouse ever since i wrote about the ordinance and and the small yappy dog in the nabe has also been less yappy.
      maybe it already worked its wonders?
      have a nice day.

  28. brsipaq says:


    Thanks for the response, but I still think that terms you use such as hate, intolerance, and dogless are still quite irrelevent.  And it really doesn’t matter whether a dog is neglected or not.  The owner needs to keep it quiet.

    Barking is just a symptom of the overall problem: our shelters are overloaded, overpopulation, 4 million dogs are euthanized per year, millions more are ignored, neglected, and abused.  There’s the fighting rings, and the hoarding.  There’s 4.5 million people biten and of course the millions more who can’t relax in their own home because of the barking.  Billions of dollars are wasted each year on “Animal Control”.

    That’s the REAL story!  And the “Dogless” or “Intolerant” have nothing to do with this epidemic.

    Amazingly, this epidemic does not have to exist.  There are solutions out there that solve this problem.

    You now have enough articles to write on for many months!  You can make a positive impact for dogs owners, dogs, and their neighbors (whether they are dogless or not).


    • Rynski says:

      well, thank you! for add’l info.
      i like how you think and agree those are great story ideas…sad facts, some of them, but great ideas.
      also thanks for opinion…good to hear all sides of issue. it widens the mind as well as makes for some dang interesting reading!

  29. David says:

    When I’m in relation with others(work, nabes, friends, parents, partner…) and I share that A behavior of yours is crossing my boundary ie.. I’m uncomfortable, hurt,frustrated ect…then its your responsibility to look at the info I’m providing you with and see if it applies or you might need more info so then you ask and I further reveal more if possible, at the end your accountability starts with discerning if you have any responsibility that you can address to respect my boundary. We can begin to converse and develop a dialogue that can be civil and cordial.
    Now I know this may be foreign as it was to me when I began interpersonal relation principles nonetheless I needed to start somewhere.
    The gift is that these principles apply inclusively to my journey.
    Now neglect or disrespect or whatever the behavior that reflects on the dog owner  of the dog that is offensively barking is not ONLY the dog owners responsibility if the barking offends you…..the co dependant triangle is that a person either acts as…rescuer, victim, or offender and in relationships we are responsible for 100% of our 50%…so I need to be practicing asking myself as well as witnessing others where do these behaviors of the coda triangle play out.
    I’ve approached my neighbors and they seemed to at first address the barking and then after a week they go back to the lack of personal discipline that it took during that bark free week and come May when this ordinance takes effect my personal responsibility will be to myself and I will file my complaints knowing that is the next step in taking care of me.

  30. KC says:

    We had an issue with a barking/howling blood hound in our neighborhood.  After 3 hours of constant barking – my husband put on his robe at 2:30am in the morning and walked over to the neighbor’s house and knocked on the door!  The neighbor NEVER opened up the door, but you could hear her yelling at her dog to come inside.  SERIOUSLY…did she NOT hear him??  Poor thing sounded like he was in pain!  Nonetheless, we later found out it is our neighborhood association president who lives at that house! 

  31. PATRICIA says:


    • Rynski says:

      hiya patricia,

      i saw your comments got hung up in PENDING folder and approved them – erased one that was a duplicate but left the others. thanks for input.

  32. PATRICIA says:

    Our neighbors’ vicious dog ran out of their house and attacked my daughter last July when she opened the UNLOCKED door for their 4 year old boy who got something in his eye.  She had to get stitches in her leg.  The neighbor refused to call their insurance, claiming that my daughter “walked into their house uninvited.”   After we contacted a lawyer about it, they gave my daughter (11) a deposition, and she assured the neighbors’  (Allstate) insurance attorney that she did not, in fact, walk into the house.  The lawyer did not ask or confirm with her that she did not tease the dog; therefore, they do not have to claim that she denied it.  Now nearly 9 months later, the neighbors were coached by Allstate to accuse my daughters of teasing the dog over time by poking at the window.  (It’s bullshit)  It is a waste of our time to continue with this case, now,  because it would be impossible to prove that my daughters did not–other than my saying so. 
    Bottom line:  People who own vicious dogs can tell such lies
    (regardless of how many months after the fact) and not be held liable for the damage their dog does to somebody.  Ohio laws do not protect us; they protect people with vicious dogs.

    • Rynski says:

      wow, patricia. that is a sad situation and so sorry you and your daughter had to go through it.
      i used to think that folks who had pets were automatically cool since they had to love animals to have a pet, right? that hypothesis is sadly inaccurate, esp. in such a case you noted above.

  33. PATRICIA says:

    I should point out that this dog ran out of the house and attacked my daughter IN THE BACK YARD simply because she was running away from it.  All this bullshit comes into play (and other bullshit) to protect people who own vicious dogs that do damage to other people.

  34. bjay100 says:

    I wonder how many people will avoid adopting dogs now. 

  35. Kevin says:

    So, for neighbors who do not appreciate your barking dog we’re just supposed to accept it? Your characterization as the victim of a legal system gone awry is absurd. It’s as if you really like to leave garbage on your neighbors yards and now you’re upset because there’s a stiffer fine. Hey, guess what, comply with a reasonable ordinance (it’s frequently and/or for long durations -not the occasional woof) and you won’t get fined. Act like an inconsiderate, narcissistic nuisance by breaking a law that the VAST majority of Tucsonans support and you’ll get fined, as well you should.

  36. SamSam says:

    hello, Rynski

    I don’t live in Arizona, but this was an interesting read! and reading some complaints has helped me understand some of my own troubles…so thank you to those who commented as well.

    thank you for the blog and interesting article.  I for one am a dog lover and owner, and animal lover–and believe that dogs are dogs. and people are people, this law is just plain silly–how do you distinguish good owners from bad ones?

    that said, every one has the right for a quiet life I believe in that; but dog owners have every right to have their dogs too.    I have a retired racing greyhound/coonhound who unfortunately has too much energy and barks at the animals and all vechiles that enter our isolated yard.  but for the most part  I have done my “duty” as a dog “owner” and trained him to the best of my ability. 

    I have a unique situation/problem is that I am disabled and he is my self-trained service dog…and has given my neighbor fits.  Except this neighbor complains to EVERYONE about ANY noise. and by the way, this neighbor has used force from the very beginning without trying to understand my situation or problems! this guy has an historic aggression problem to people with kids, dogs and those he feels makes “too much noise”.  so I have to put up with an over- aggressive noise-hater.

    People should always try and work things out with one another, I have tried very hard to work a neighborly way….I even went over to make peace with tea and small chat…but it just doesn’t work with him.   People need to be more tolerant with one another (including me), I am sorry that those who left comments have had bad experiences with poorly trained dogs (bad owners)…but this doesn’t mean every dog owner should be punished!

    I happen to understand dogs and dog owners, I also live near a very yappy little shiba inu who barks far more (even at night!).  but I don’t care about that.

    it’s all a matter of perspective. how come people don’t find lawnmowers as annoying? or racing motorcycles at night? Or car noises that happen to go 24/7? Are we going to pass noise laws and fine those people who use them too?

    lastly: I do not believe dogs should get their vocal cords cut, that is not just cruel, but unfair.
    that’s my 2c, anyway.

    oh hey, I may have a decent solution: can anyone afford the Bose earphones? I tried it out before and it really works! it surely cuts down the noise levels of anything!

    Sam Sam

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