Barking ordinance's greatest hits

Barking ordinance's greatest hits

On June 11, the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors approved a measure meant to silence incessantly barking dogs in the urban area of the county. Passed by a 4-2 vote, the measure makes it against the law “to harbor an animal which disturbs the peace and quiet” of anyone in the county except those who live on land zoned “rural.”

If the aggrieved (and exhausted) party can prove that a dog barked for at least 30 minutes without stopping for more than five minutes, a judge can fine the dog’s owner up to $500. (Picture the poor judge made to listen to what has to be one of the world’s worst 30-minute recordings of anything.) Any more than two violations within 12 months, and the dog can be taken away.

Are dogs keeping us up at night, or is that howling coming from the County Office Building?

Being such a hot-button issue, the Board’s decision has sparked commentary on both sides. It’s about freedom! It’s about Orwellian governments! It’s about getting laid! So without further ado, here are the greatest hits of the great Barking Dog Controversy. All errors (and make-believe words) are those of the original great thinkers.

“Should we abdicate all aspects of personal responsibility and create an Orwellian world where the Board of Supervisors is empowered to legislate good neighborship?”—Neil Williamson, the Free Enterprise Forum blog

“Tonight I feel like I am moving into the People’s Republic of Albemarle.”—Joanne Hayden, speaking at the Board meeting

“You people who can’t handle a dog barking need to get laid….that will help you sleep”—oscar harmonka, commenting on The Hook’s website

“Here’s an idea. Fine every politician who yaps his or her trap for more than 1/2 hour $500. Or better yet, euthaniza them.”—John, commenting on the WCAV website

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