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In Clarkstown, Man (Really) Does Bite Dog

The Journal News reports than Clarkstown is putting dogs — and their owners — on a short leash. And yes, the pun was intended.

A new law limits leashes to eight feet and nuisance barking to 10 minutes between 7a and 10p and five minutes after 10p. Fines for improper canine supervision have been hiked to $20 a day for each day your dog is impounded.

The law prohibits “habitual loud howling, barking, crying, whining or conduct…that… creates a noise disturbance.” To be clear, this provision only applies to the dogs and not the local legislators who authored this bill.

With changes in the law, those numbers could rise. The high price of gas, the shaky stock market, unemployment and the dreary economic prognosis has the public worried, Coleman said, and could make people easily frustrated by a barking dog.

Clarkstown Animal Control Officer Pat Coleman says the poor economy (“the high price of gas, the shaky stock market, unemployment and the dreary economic prognosis”) justifies the new regulation. “If you didn’t have to worry about those things, the barking wouldn’t be an issue,” Coleman says.

The Clarkstown Canine Code of Conduct:

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  • A dog that barks for more than 10 minutes continuously between 7 a.m and 10 p.m., and for more than 5 minutes between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m., will be considered a “habitual” barker if a second complaint is made against the dog within 30 days of the previous one.
  • A neighbor will be considered imposed upon if a dog “engage(s) in habitual loud howling, barking, crying or whining or conduct(s) itself in such a manner so that it creates a noise disturbance that can be heard by any reasonable person of normal sensitivities in the immediate vicinity.”
  • Owners whose dogs have been seized or impounded will be fined $20 for the offense, up from $10, and an additional $20 a day for every day the dog is held at an animal shelter.
  • Dog owners must walk their dogs on leashes no more than 8 feet long.

Source: Journal News

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