Hearing on barking dog ordinance repeal Wednesday

LIHUE — Members of the public will have an opportunity to weigh-in on whether to repeal Kauai County’s barking dog ordinance.

Ordinance No. 967, which went into effect in March 2014, provides penalties for dog owners who fail to keep their animal quiet.

In June, Councilman Ross Kagawa proposed Bill 2590 to repeal the ordinance, which he said does not solve the problem and causes additional problems between neighbors.

A public hearing on the matter will be held Wednesday at 1:30 p.m., during a council meeting at the Historic County Building in Lihue.

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 run from $200 to $500, and a judge can order other remedies, such as obedience school.

Because Kagawa’s proposal repeals the barking dog ordinance in its entirety, councilmembers can only vote for or against the plan — they do not have the option to amend the existing ordinance by changing the length of time a dog must bark in order to be considered a nuisance and for penalties to apply.

Kagawa’s plan amends Chapter 22 of the Kauai County Code of 1987 by repealing Article 25.

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