“Sir, do you know how long, and how loud you were barking?”
“That’s the problem right there, Sir.”
Hawaii County has taken action against a new breed of criminals that has overrun the calm audible Archipelago with a new breed of social disruption: dogs barking to excess. A new law that some view as “draconian” and infringing on rights enables police officers to fine dog owners several hundred dollars in the event that “barks, bays, cries, or howls” continue for ten minutes interrupted, or for twenty minutes out of thirty intermittently.
Despite these objections, some residents view this legislation as the only way to deal with the near-constant assault on their ear drums. Some residents point out that they need to sleep with fans next to the heads just to drown out the barking in an attempt to fall asleep at night. Despite what you might expect from such a heating scenario, the residents in question are not cool such an arrangement.
Hawaii enables dogs that fall outside of the law to get professional help as part of a plea deal so as to allow dog owners to retain their canines.
Carl Oguss, who runs the East Hawaii Dog Psychology Centre, explains that excessive dog barking is the result of boredom of the part of the animal. He urges pet owners to take their dogs for walks and to engage in play dates with other dogs so as to curb this behavior.
“You have to focus on the cause as well as how to correct the symptoms,” he said of incessant barkers.
Carl Oguss is a self-professed ‘dog whisperer’ and teaches Hawaii County pet owners on how to communicate with their pets in this fashion.
While there are seemingly plenty of arguments present to support a world where the police do not patrol the streets for animal sounds, it should be noted that this law shows spots of compassion for the instinctual nature of canines, and the eventuality that situations will arise to provoke such innate responses—for example, the law allows dogs to bark over the allotted time limit if their owner is being physically attacked.
Hawaii (in particular Honolulu) describes a particular nightmare with noisy dogs, but they are not alone in their legislative actions. California has also imposed similar constraints on dog barking, with a few towns having set time limits on how long is too long.
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