Dogs bark, just as humans play their stereos too loud and tend to have room-shaking sex when they live directly above you. That latter thing seems difficult to circumvent, but one New Jersey borough has decided to address the former, making it illegal for dogs to bark extensively during certain hours.
According to the New York Times, residents in wealthy Saddle River, New Jersey, are fed up with three dogs who reside in a 20,000-square-foot mansion that (fun fact!) once belonged to Russell Simmons. The dogs, two German shepherds and a Belgian shepherd, apparently cannot stop barking, because they are dogs, and that is what dogs do.
But rich people love to make rules, and now the borough council wants to make some big ones. Per the Times:
The borough council will soon consider a new ordinance that would make it illegal for dogs to bark, howl or yelp for more than 20 minutes straight between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m., or for 15 continuous minutes at any other time. Penalties for dog owners range from $100 to $1,000. A vote on the ordinance was postponed late last week for further discussion.
Apparently, neighbors have called the cops on the Focazio family, who own the offending barkers a total of seven times over the last year:
Behind the Focazios live the Mone family, who reside in an approximately 5,000-square-foot home on Coltsfoot Glen. They say their household, particularly its oldest residents, both in their 80s, is woken up at all hours by the dogs.
“It’s a quality-of-life thing. Nobody gets it, unless you live it,” said one member of the Mone family, who asked not to be identified to ward against abuse or online trolling from dog lovers. Attempts were made to settle the issue neighbor to neighbor, the family member said, but when the dogs kept barking, the police were called. Multiple times.
So, three big dogs are annoying to some humans in one big house, and now all the dogs in Saddle River will have to pay the price. There are lots of ways to keep dogs from barking—vibrating collars, for instance, and ultrasonic devices, and good old-fashioned training. But it still seems wild to me that people think they can ban barking, considering I can’t even get my landlord to ask the taco shop beneath me to stop blasting music at 9 a.m.