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Riverside County implements new fines for barking dogs

January 7, 2009 |  1:36 pm

Some Riverside County residents are pretty steamed about a new anti-nuisance ordinance, approved by the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday, that will fine owners of barking dogs up to $500.

The new ordinance also affects the way dog-related complaints are handled by officials. NBC Los Angeles has the details:

Under current county law, when a resident in an unincorporated community complains about a barking, howling or otherwise noisy dog, an Animal Services officer investigates the matter, generally by visiting the location where the disturbance has been reported, according to Riverside County Animal Services Field Commander Rita Gutierrez.

When the new rules take effect -- in 30 days -- noisy dogs' owners will receive a warning for a first complaint. If another complaint is made within a year of the first one, the matter goes to a hearing, during which an officer decides whether or not the dog is actually a nuisance. If so, an order is issued to the dog's owner and must be followed within 10 days, as NBC explains:

Remedies might include obedience training, containing the animal within an enclosed space, such as a garage, restricting the amount of time the animal is allowed outside -- or debarking the dog so it doesn't vocalize beyond a whisper.

If the order is not followed within the 10 days allotted, a fine is incurred, beginning at $100 for the first violation. A second violation within a year racks up a $200 fine, and a $500 fine is imposed for each additional violation.

For more information, check out the Riverside County Department of Animal Services.

-- Lindsay Barnett

Video: KTLA

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