Akron contemplates jail time for excessive dog barking

AKRON, Ohio - If you're an Akron resident and you have a dog that barks too much, you could face jail time under a proposed rule change, according to Ohio.com.

Akron City Council met with Councilman Russ Neal on Monday to discuss his proposal to increase fines and add as much as a month of jail time for pet owners whose dogs are caught barking excessively.

"For everyone who may think this is crazy, I get calls from folks all the time," Neal said. "Those that hurt me the most are calls from caretakers for elderly who suffer from Alzheimer's and dementia." 

Neal's proposal would treat excessive barking the same as strays or unvaccinated dogs by making a second offense a fourth-degree misdemeanor charge that carries up to 30 days in jail and a maximum fine of $250, according to Ohio.com.

"Again, that's the extreme and after several offenses," Neil said.

The current law gives a minor misdemeanor that carries a fine of $100 to pet owners.

Pet owner Megan Carpenter said she relies on her dogs to bark because of her blind mother. 

"That's something she relies on to let her know something might be up," she said. "I think it's crazy to be fined or jailed because my dog is doing what it's bred and made to do." 

There is no date set for a vote on the ordinance. For now, Neal encourages anyone with comments or concerns to share then with the council.

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