Serving Larchmont Village, Hancock Park, and the Greater Wilshire neighborhoods of Los Angeles since 2011.

City Council to Modify Dog Barking Ordinance

Don't let your dog slip away without identification - all dogs in Los Angeles must be licensed!

Some dog owners are concerned that proposed changes to the barking dog noise rules in the LA Municipal Code are too vague and would make it easier for the City to take a barking dog from their owner.

Paul Darrigo of Citizens for a Humane Los Angeles (CHULA) alerted the Buzz to this proposed change. Darrigo has started a petition opposing the new language which is scheduled to come before the City Council today. In the summer of 2015, Darrigo led a protest at Mayor Garcetti’s Windsor Square home alleging corruption and animal abuse and neglect at the city’s shelters.

Here’s what we learned from City Council files:

In 2011, LAMC Section 53.63 was amended to require dog noise to be continuously audible for ten minutes or intermittently audible for thirty minutes within a three hour period. This requirement has proven to be onerous and imposes an undue limitation on the ability of the Department to effectively address concerns from the public regarding excessive dog barking.

The proposed ordinance replaces the specific time requirements in determining whether the noise constitutes excessive dog barking with factors such as the frequency and volume of the noise, the tone, repetitiveness, time of day or night, distance from the complaining party, the number of neighbors affected by the noise, the location, health or working habits of the complaining party and whether the dog was being provoked. The revised language (underlined) states as follows:

“It shall be unlawful for any person to permit any dog or dogs under his or her charge, care, custody or control to emit any excessive noise after the Department has issued a written notice advising the owner or custodian of the alleged noise and the procedures as set forth below have been followed. For purposes of this section, the term “excessive noise” shall mean noise which is unreasonably annoying, disturbing, offensive, or which unreasonably interferes with the comfortable enjoyment of life or property of one or more persons occupying property in the community or neighborhood, within reasonable proximity to the property where the dog or dogs are kept. Factors to be considered in determining whether the barking is excessive may include but are not limited to: (i) the nature, frequency and volume of the noise, (ii) the tone and repetitiveness. (Hi) the time of day or night, (iv) the distance from the complaining or affected party or parties, (v) the number of neighbors affected by or complaining about the noise, (vi) any other relevant evidence demonstrating that the barking is unduly disruptive, such as the working or sleeping habits of the complaining party, and (vii) whether the dog is being provoked…..”

The ordinance also corrects the language of Section 53.63 (b) 1 to reflect that a second complaint regarding the excessive barking can only be filed after, rather than within, 15 days from the date of the original written notice from the Department of Animal Services (Department) to the dog owner regarding the excessive noise. The pertinent language of Section 53.63 (b) 1 is amended as follows (changed language is underlined):

“If, after 15 days from the issuance of the written notice pursuant to (a) above, a second complaint is received from the complainant along with a written complaint from an additional complainant residing in a separate residence within reasonable proximity to the dog(s), the Department shall, . ..”

Brenda Barnette, General Manager of LA Animal Services did not respond to the Buzz as of this post.

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Patricia Lombard
Patricia Lombard
Patricia Lombard is the publisher of the Larchmont Buzz. Patty lives with her family in Fremont Place. She has been active in neighborhood issues since moving here in 1989. Her pictorial history, "Larchmont" for Arcadia Press is available at Chevalier's Books.

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