How loud is too loud? At what point does a dog’s barking become “unreasonably loud or disturbing”?
This is what the Ohio Supreme Court is deciding upon now.
An attorney is representing a dog owner who claims that Columbus’ city law in regards to barking is unconstitutionally vague because it doesn’t define “unreasonably loud or disturbing.”
In Columbus, it is illegal to keep an animal that makes noise that is “unreasonably loud or disturbing” to neighbors or other people.
But Rebecca Kim wants the city to specify what exactly they mean and have guidelines of what is “unreasonably loud or disturbing.”
It all started in May 2005 when Kim’s dog, Lucky, barked for about 90 minutes. The barking was loud enough for Kim’s neighbor to hear.
Kim was found guilty of violating the city ordinance because of Lucky’s barking.
Kim’s attorney, Mark J. Miller, said, “How loud is too loud when it comes to dogs barking in this great state? As a pet-loving country and state — we love our pets and our animals and our dogs — everybody has a different standard as to unreasonableness.”
The assistant city attorney said the city’s current law protects dog owners against unreasonable prosecution and bases the law on the character and intensity of the noise itself.
The Ohio Supreme Court is expected to make its decision in a few months.
Source: The Columbus Dispatch