Rockford City Council Changes Barking Dog Ordinance

By: Shannon Smith
By: Shannon Smith

Neighbors will have to record proof that a barking dog is nuisance in their community. Rockford City Council is changing the local law.

Now neighbors will have to record video or audio of the dogs barking for 10 minutes or more in order to file a complaint with the city.

City administrators say these changes are to protect both the person complaining and dog owners. The term 'guard dogs' is completely taken out of the ordinance. There has to be at least 2 neighbors from different households complaining, or a person filing a complaint with an animal control officer or police officer as a witness.

These changes come from neighbors complaining about Tim Barth's guard dogs near his business on Jefferson and Winnebago. Richard Schlee says those dogs help protect the area.

"So dog owners feel a safer if their dogs are barking at something outside. if it's not time you may not see what the dogs are barking at, they can hear they can see a lot better than we can even remotely see," said Schlee.

Schlee says Tim Barth has removed his guard dogs cages outside his business. 23 News went by there, and it seems the dogs aren't there. We reached out to Tim Barth but haven't heard back.

Alderman Tom Mcnamara says he'd still like to sit down with Barth and neighbors who have complained about his dogs to try to come to an agreement. The council is expected to vote on the ordinance next week.

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