Local News

Knightdale drafting animal nuisance ordinance

Posted July 16, 2009 3:31 p.m. EDT
Updated July 16, 2009 6:42 p.m. EDT

— The Wake County town of Knightdale is drafting an ordinance that could have residents with noisy animals paying a price.

Assistant Town Manager Seth Lawless said Thursday that the rules, which could go up for a vote before the Town Council next month, would allow police officers to cite pet owners whose animals are disturbing other residents at certain hours of the day.

The town started considering the rule after numerous complaints of dogs barking during the overnight hours.

The ordinance, however, would apply to any animal, Lawless said. What town staff have yet to determine the hours when it would apply.

Police would have to receive a complaint, go to the property and observe the violation themselves, he said. They would have the authority to issue a citation based on what they observe, not the complaint itself.

"The primary concern is what it does to the quality of life of neighbors," Lawless said.

Violators would face a $50 fine for the first offense, and an additional $50 for each violation thereafter, with a maximum fine of $500.

Town resident Fred Davis said he thinks the town needs the rule.

He said he filed a complaint against a neighbor whose dog barked throughout the night on multiple occasions, keeping him and his wife awake.

"We just need to get this comfortable sleep without hearing dogs," he said.

Other residents, however, said they aren't too sure.

"I think it's kind of crazy, because you really don't have control over whether the dog barks or he doesn't," resident Bonita Dunn said.

"I'm thinking that's just another way to get $50 out of people," resident Amanda Courtney said.