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City of Atlanta is cracking down on animal noise in updated nuisance ordinance

ATLANTA — The City of Atlanta has updated its nuisance animal ordinance in an effort to clamp down on excessive dog barking and other animal noise in neighborhoods.

“I do understand it’s a nuisance to hear dogs bark constantly. I have a neighbor whose dog never stops barking,” said dog owner Gina Nalli.

Dogs barking for 10 minutes or more continuously are considered a nuisance.

Previously, the complaint time period was 20 minutes. A first offense draws a $150 fine, but each additional offense draws a higher fine up to a $1,000.

Neighbors and businesses within a thousand yard radius of the noisy animal can file complaints.

“I understand why you would want to have a tougher ordinance, but at the same time, dogs bark just like kids. They laugh, they play.” said dog owner Kayla Holewinski.

The ordinance applies to other loud pets including cats and birds.

Most dog owners Channel 2 Action News spoke with seemed to support the tougher ordinance.

“If your dog barks that much, then you really need to train him not to bark.” said dog owner Paulo Barbosa.

The American Kennel Club says there are several ways to curb excessive barking in dogs. They include more exercise, socialization, toys for distraction and a stern quiet command when a dog barks repeatedly followed up with reward reinforcement.

“In a big city, there’s tons of dogs. There’s lots of apartment buildings. You don’t want to hear a dog bark all night.” said Nalli.

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