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Court adopts penalty for barking dogs

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Last week, The Bandera County Commissioners’ Court unanimously approved adopting a penalty defining a barking dog as a public nuisance.

The penalty is a modification to the Rabies and Animal Control Order and was presented as a proposal to the court by County Attorney Janna Lindig.

“This is something that got started as of December 2021,” Lindig told the court. “I kept having people ask me about it and I finally had time to set it aside to do the Barking Dog modification. It just has to do with the public’s request.”

Under the order passed in 2009, a dog causing a disturbance by excessive noise-making near the private residence or disturbing the peace or quiet or any neighborhood is considered a public nuisance.

Lindig noted no sections of that order list a penalty for violation.

Under the modified order, the code considers certain factors before a dog owner is deemed to be committing a public nuisance when their dog causes a disturbance and is in violation of the order.

Those factors are: the time of day; proximity of noise production to other premises; and whether the sound is recurrent, intermittent or constant.

Owners will be informed they have committed a public nuisance through a written notice or a citation from the Animal Control Authority and/or Deputy.

Not later than the tenth day after the date a notice described is given to the owner, such owner shall abate the nuisance or request a hearing in the applicable justice court contesting the notice.

A person who fails to abate the public nuisance commits a misdemeanor and shall be charged a fine not to exceed $100.00 a day for each day that the nuisance continues.

“Some people ain’t gonna like this,” said Commissioner Bobby Harris. “We don’t have an animal problem, we have a people problem. The taxpayer living next door is entitled to have some enforcement.”

The court voted all in favor to approve the modification.