Pet Noise Ordinance Debate Is Dividing Wadena - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Pet Noise Ordinance Debate Is Dividing Wadena

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 A heated debate is dividing Wadena, Minnesota. A pet ordinance passed, and now some in the community are calling it ridiculous.

"You could have a ten foot fence, and trees growing around it, you are still going to hear a dog bark," says Edwin Mann, who is concerned about the pet ordinance.

The ordinance says pets in certain parts of town can't bark, or make noise from 4:00 p.m. to 9:00 a.m.

Many, including the town's humane society are saying it's inhumane to keep dogs quiet for 17 hours.

"They didn't like the consistent barking because when they start they don't quit," says Jody Grossinger, who lives next door to the Humane Society.

After hearing complaints, the City of Wadena decided that a 17 hour quiet time for commercial zones would help keep the peace. It would include the humane society and surrounding neighborhood.

"That's extreme, I mean you can't tell a dog, okay you can bark from this time to this time, but from this time to this time you need to be quiet," says Grossinger.

Even some of the neighbors that complained think the no barking policy is a little too much,but city leaders defend their decision.

"Dogs are not outside for 17 hours a day," says Gillette Kempf, a City Council Member.

She adds they did research, and concluded that dogs bark more when they have visual cues. They are asking that the humane society puts up a new higher fence.

"So there would be less things for the dogs to see to bark at," says Kempf.

Representatives from the humane society say they are not complaining about the city ordinance. But, they are not happy about it either. They have to spend upwards of $6,000 on a new fence. Money they wish they could have gone directly into taking care of the dogs.

"I think it is an imperfect compromise between the needs of the humane society, and the needs of the residents living in a commercial zone, and like all compromise not everyone is happy," says Kempf.

Mann still feels that this ordinance is going to cause the Humane Society to suffer. "You can't use psychology on a dog, the same way you can't on a baby, you know, no matter what the animal, they got to be free to go when they want, and they are going to bark," he says.

The Humane Society says despite any new ordinances they are going to serve the dogs they take into their non-profit organization.

The fine for most dog-related offenses in Wadena is $50 bucks.

Repeat offenders could wind up paying a thousand dollars and spending up to 90 days in jail.

To date, the humane society has not been fined.
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