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Los Angeles approves hefty fines for incessant barking

November 2, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
Is there a dog in your neighborhood that barks constantly? Morning, noon and night?

The city of Los Angeles is putting some teeth behind its 20-year-old barking ordinance, with new changes that set fines and specific guidelines about excessive barking.

According to the ordinance, if the barking goes on for 10 minutes straight during a 3 hour period, the owner could be cited. That's a $250 fine for the first citation, $500 for the second and $1,000 for the third.

The city's Department of Animal Services will handle the complaint calls and determine if a dog is barking too much.

The ordinance is expected to get Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's signature. It would go into effect before the end of the year.

Arta Cressey, who owns a couple of dogs, favors the fines but has concerns that this could lead to dog owners abandoning their pets if they can't afford the fines.

The City Council unanimously passed the ordinance Tuesday. It beefs up the existing law to go after the owners of licensed and unlicensed dogs that bark too much by implementing fines.

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