If you live in Los Angeles and you have a noisy dog, you might want to start thinking now about how to quiet it. The City Council voted yesterday to fine owners whose dogs bark too much—$250 for a first offense, then $500 and $1,000 for additional offenses. How much is too much? Ten minutes’ worth of consistent barking, or 30 minutes within three hours. If Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa signs the amended ordinance as expected, it will go into effect by the end of the year, the Los Angeles Times reports.
Residents had been frustrated with the Department of Animal Services’ hearing process. “It was silly how long it took,” says one, who had to attend two hearings over more than a year before one excessive barker was removed. Bizarrely, the old ordinance also did not allow for hearings against residents with unlicensed dogs; that has been changed. "Prior to this, it rewarded people who did not have licenses versus people who were law-abiding and had licenses," says an assistant city attorney. (Read more pet owners stories.)