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Borough explores ordinance

February 22, 2001

Borough explores ordinance



By RICHARD F. BELISLE / Staff Writer, Waynesboro


WAYNESBORO, Pa. - Waynesboro residents who allow dogs to bark incessantly could face fines of up to $300 if a new ordinance the Borough Council approved for advertising Wednesday night passes public muster.

Under the proposal, residents would receive a written warning by borough police on the first incident, followed by criminal charges and fines for subsequent complaints.

The ordinance, fashioned after one on the books in Camp Hill, Pa., was drafted by Borough Solicitor D. Lloyd Reichard II.

A barking dog can be declared a public nuisance if its owners allow it to bark continually for 10 minutes or more or intermittently for more than 30 minutes, according to Reichard's drafts.

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Reichard added a few clauses to allow for discretion by investigating officers.

For example, if a dog is barking because of unusual activity in a neighbor's yard, such as a noisy ballgame, some discretion is allowed.

If, on the other hand, a neighbor is having a quiet outdoor barbecue and a dog barks continually, its owner would be subject to prosecution under the new law.

Candy Bennett, executive director of the local humane society, said she supports the ordinance as written.

Sue Bartles, a Reservoir Avenue resident and owner of four dogs, said she was worried that the new law would be too restrictive for dog owners. After seeing a copy Wednesday night, she said she believes it's reasonable.

A related animal control matter still under council review is a proposed ordinance that would control cats running amok in neighborhoods.

The ordinance would also require owners of exotic pets, including potentially dangerous ones like large snakes or reptiles, to register their animals with the borough. The goal is to alert emergency personnel that a dangerous animal might be in a residence to which they are responding for an emergency.

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