River Heights passes noise-nuisance law to deal with barking dogs

RIVER HEIGHTS — Dog owners in River Heights will have to be more careful in the future. The City Council met Tuesday and voted unanimously to adopt a noise nuisance ordinance. The new ordinance outlines procedures for Animal Control to follow when responding to noise complaints about dogs. Complaints should only be made if a dog is barking for more than 15 minutes. “We wanted to make it as detailed as possible,” said Councilman Rich Okelberry, author of the new ordinance. The procedure outlines what may happen to dog owners who have recieved anywhere up to three offenses during a rolling 12-month period. The first offense will generally be a warning, but if there are serious offenses, such as animal abuse, the officer may issue a citation, Okelberry said. However, if the animal is not making any noise when the officer arrives, the complainant will be asked to sign a complaint affidavit. The complaints may then be used in court, if necessary. These affidavits will help reduce false complaints, said Sheriff Deputy Kenny Eggleston.

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