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Dogs that bark during the day could be in trouble

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Barking dogs in the daytime could now attract a visit by the police in Abingdon, Virginia.

On Monday, the Abingdon Town Council passed an ordinance giving police the authority to warn residents about barking dogs during daylight hours — not just between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m.

“We’re just giving you all a tool to be able to actually take action if action is needed,” Mayor Derek Webb said to Abingdon Police Chief John Holbrook. “We’re not trying to punitively punish anybody. I think it’s about educating people.”

Until Monday, Holbrook said the Town Code did not allow the police, “to do much with barking dogs during the daytime.”

Now, Holbrook said he can enforce a barking dog ordinance 24 hours a day.

Basically, if a dog barks for five minutes within a 10-minute period, then that will be deemed excessive, Holbrook said.

The new code does not apply to dog parks at certain times or police dogs, Holbrooke said.

Holbrook wants to work with residents, he added.

“What you’re looking for is that dogs are not barking all day,” Holbrook said.

Two residents spoke in favor of giving the police more teeth in the face of barking dogs.

Robert Jones said he works from home, where he sometimes hears “insufferable” sounds of barking dogs as he tries to conduct Zoom meetings. Jones said it’s frustrating to see a dog barking all day in a cage, Jones said. “It’s not their fault.”

Another speaker, John Brenner, said dogs in his neighborhood, “don’t just bark; they howl ... and they howl pretty much all day long.” — 276-791-0709 @BHC_Tennis

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