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Loves Animals—and Peace and Quiet

Excessive barking should be controlled by pet owners.

June 16, 2011
Fred Spanjaard · Maui Meadows

It seems these days, most residents have not just one, but multiple dogs. I think it’s fine to own a dog in a residential area. I am not an animal-hater; rather, I am a lover of peace, which is why I am always conscious of noises that might affect neighbors. I respect that everyone has a right to peace and quiet. I love loud rock and roll music, but I am sensitive enough to know that if I crank up the volume, several neighbors around me would be affected by what, for them, would be considered “noise pollution.”

I understand that dog owners love their dogs and may very much enjoy the sound of their dogs barking, but for those who do not find pleasure in barking dogs, it seems very insensitive to allow it to go unchecked.

For anyone who has ever had a party on Maui that involves music, invariably, some neighbor will call the police to have the music stopped at 10 p.m. If I started playing loud music at 6 a.m., the police would be at my door within minutes due to waking my neighbors and disturbing the general peace.

Why not also have enforceable laws that require loud animal noises to not occur between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m.?

Those who have dealt with this problem know that the police are of little help. The Maui Humane Society says that unless a dog is barking for 20 minutes consecutively and until one monitors and documents the situation 24/7 for two weeks, they will do nothing about it.

In Maui Meadows, it is rare that a dog will bark for 20 consecutive minutes. Rather, we have a group of people who walks a pack of dogs beginning around 6 a.m. and will often stop within 50 yards of my house or within earshot to converse with each other—and even worse—have all of their dogs converse with each other.

In spite of my attempts at aloha, that they might understand that this is not a dog yard but a residential neighborhood where people are still sleeping at 6 a.m., I get nasty looks implying, “how dare I be a dog hater.”

One in particular (you know who you are) once threatened me, saying, “Your days are numbered,” forcing me to call the police. Another neighbor had an excessively barking hound dog, and when I asked him kindly to be sensitive to the neighbors, he shot me full force with the hose he was using to wash his car.

Even ruder are neighbors who are gone all day and could care less that their dog barks incessantly. When confronted, the response was, “Oh just relax. The dog only barks when there are intruders!”

 
 

 

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