New Jersey town could soon start cracking down on barking dogs

SADDLE RIVER, New Jersey (WABC) -- Man's best friend is barking up some controversy in New Jersey.

Under a new proposal in Saddle River, noisy dogs could land their owners in trouble.

The ordinance states:

"No person shall own, keep, harbor or permit any dog to annoy neighbors or other persons living within the immediate vicinity of the Borough of Saddle River by loud, frequent or habitual continuous barking, howling or yelping for a period of more than 20 continuous minutes between the hours of 7 a.m. and 10 p.m. or for a period of more than 15 continuous minutes between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m."

Continuous is defined as uninterrupted -- not intermittent or occasional.

Borough administrator Jerry Giaimis said the intention of the ordinance is not to go every dog that barks at a mailman or another animal because they know that is going to happen.

"Our goal is to deal with the potential issues for a dog barking overnight for over 20 minutes at a time," Giaimis said.

The new proposal also holds owners responsible if their dogs trespass or damage a neighbor's property.

A judge could sentence owners to fines or community service if their dogs act up.

The new ordinance will be debated in a public forum on March 18 and the town council is expected to cast its vote right after the hearing.

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