BoS Approves Dog-Barking Ordinance

The Albemarle Board of Supervisors has OKd a $500 fine for excessive dog barkage, Brian McNeill writes in today’s Progress. The process is pretty laborious — a neighbor has to swear out a warrant, a court date is set, and the neighbor has to prove that the dog barked for more than a half an hour. If there are three violations in a year, the dog can be taken away. The concept behind this appear to be for the benefit of both the neighbors (anybody who has tried to sleep with a dog barking all night can relate) and also for the dogs (a dog that’s barking all the time is not a happy dog). There’s an exception for dog owners in the rural area with more than five acres. The city’s had a similar regulation since 1951.

9 Responses to “BoS Approves Dog-Barking Ordinance”


  • The charge should be “Cruelty to animals”. These nuisance dogs are stressed and unhappy and the owners ignorant of proper animal care and treatment..

  • Ditto on van’s comment. If everyone in your household is gone all day, please think long and hard before getting a dog. Try a cat instead – the SPCA has gazillions of them, and they don’t give a damn if you’re not around.

    I’m happy to see the fines implement, but I don’t know how the neighbor will ever prove the dog barked more than a half hour. Unless they tape record it. I have this vision of a courtroom full of people listening to a tape of a dog barking for 45 minutes.

  • The city doesn’t seem to be much interested in enforcing its ordinance, though. We’ve had neighbors with dogs that were left out to bark all night–one dog in particular was tied up on a short chain 24 hours a day. I called animal control many times, either to complain about the barking or to complain that the dog had no water and no source of shade. The dog seemed pretty aggressive, or I would have brought it food and water myself. Nothing was done until the dog finally bit someone–which could have been prevented it if hadn’t been neglected in the first place.

  • The barking dog in our neighborhood in the city barks as long as he sees a deer, cat, groundhog, squirrel, dog, raccoon or some other critter.

  • This is good that they have made the rural exception.

    I have a neighbor about 300 yards away with a beagle that barks all the time. I think mostly it’s saying ‘hey!’ to my own dogs. Basically I put it in the same category as the donkeys across the road from me that loudly bray at all hours. Or the crowing rooster that hangs out around the barn behind the donkeys’ pasture. It all just comes with the territory. Move to the country and you’re going to hear some animals making noise pretty much all the time.

  • True, rural areas have their own animal noises(and for the record I love them- frogs ,owls, cattle, etc).
    What this ordinance does is recognize that much of Albemarle is urban or suburban, not rural and attempts to deal with it. Continually barking dogs on a city street is not a pleasant situation. And as people have pointed out, it shows the dogs are not being properly cared for

  • For those who are afraid of being fined, here is a comprehensive overview on barking dogs and what to do about them. Good luck.

  • Barking in North Garden

    I am sitting here writing this note while my neighbors three dogs bark incessantly. They are desperate for attention and the owner is outside at his swimming pool entertaining and yelling “shut up” to his dogs.

    Three years ago my neighbor was at my home and commented “wow my dogs barking is really loud over here. You have my permission to tell them to shut-up.”

    I am heart sick over this situation. It is not the dogs fault- it is the owners!

    I have kept track of the barking this week since the barking ordinance passed- incessant barking with no more that 3 seconds in between barks x3 and they have barked 10.25 hours which is usually in 2 to 3 hour intervals (continuous) and then many many 15-30 minute episodes during the day.

    I cannot go out in my yard without them barking. I cannot nap during the day or open my windows, I cannot have a picnic outside. I cannot work in my garden without them barking.

    I love animals. I own a dog. I long to hear the night sounds but alas I cannot.

    I live in North Garden in a hollow and the barking echoes. I am a desperate woman.

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