Council may muzzle barking dog law

LIHUE — The Kauai County Council is considering a proposal to repeal the barking dog ordinance.

Councilmember Ross Kagawa introduced the measure to repeal the ordinance, which he said fails to solve the problem of incessant barking and adds to animosity between neighbors.

“I think we’re seeing a lot of people using this barking dog law to get at their neighbors that they don’t like,” Kagawa said during a council hearing. “I think we have enough bad blood out there day to day without having another vehicle for neighbors to fight with each other.”

Alice Parker urged the council to not repeal the barking ordinance when the bill was introduced.

“Please please do not repeal the barking dog ordinance,” Parker said. “There are people who just do not care about their animals and dogs bark on and on and on so please reconsider.”

Under the existing ordinance, a dog owner may face penalties if a dog barks, bays, cries, howls, or makes any other noise continuously for a period of 10 minutes, or intermittently for 20 minutes of a 30-minute period, regardless of the time of day.

Penalties do not apply, however, if the barking is due to a person trespassing or provoking the animal.

Penalties range from $50 for a first violation, to $100 for a second violation occurring within 90 days of the first violation.

Penalties for subsequent violations can from $200 to $500, and a judge can order other remedies, such as obedience school.

Councilman Gary Hooser said he felt that instead of repealing the ordinance outright, councilmembers should instead consider amending the existing ordinance.

“I think we’re throwing the baby out with the bathwater, basically. If in fact 10 minutes is too short, then let’s make it longer. If in fact the enforcement mechanism is not what it should be, then let’s fix that,” Hooser said.

Bill 2590 amends Chapter 22 of the Kauai County Code of 1987 by repealing the entire section related to barking dogs.

A public hearing on the matter will be held on Wednesday, July 15 during the council meeting at the Historic County Building.


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