The Akron City Council voted down a proposed bill that would have stiffened penalties for excessive dog barking by raising the maximum fine and allowing judges to add up to 30 days in jail.
The Akron Beacon Journal reported that the bill introduced by Councilman Russ Neal last month was abandoned Monday by the council’s safety committee. The bill would have changed the ordinance for barking dogs to a fourth-degree misdemeanor, carrying a maximum fine of $250 and 30 days in jail. The animal warden had said a dog has to bark at least 20 minutes outside for it to be a possible violation.
Neal introduced the bill after asking the city’s law department how to add teeth to the current ordinance – a minor misdemeanor for excessive dog barking which imposes a $100 fine, regardless of how many times the dog owner is cited.
The council supported a tougher penalty, but felt the fourth-degree misdemeanor went too far, the Journal reported. Councilwoman Marilyn Keith would not support the legislation without adding an educational program to instruct the public about dog barking complaints.
“I don’t think it’s clear what steps we’re taking [now],” Keith told the Journal.