City Considering Killing Dogs That Bark Too Much

dog behind fence photo
Photo: Adan Garcia / CC

Noisy dogs had better quiet down or else face the death penalty -- at least that's the proposal being considered by one city in Australia. The city council of Adelaide is currently mulling over a plan that calls for canine nuisances to be rounded up and euthanized if their owners fail to comply with noise ordinances and don't arrive in time to claim them. Animal rights supporters and residential associations are livid over the proposal aimed at their pets, calling the measure "over the top."According to a report from Adelaide Now, some on the city council evidently think that current measures against barking dogs are not harsh enough. Presently, animal control officers are limited to issuing fines and expiation notices to dog owners who are unwilling or incapable of silencing their vocal pups. Additionally, officials are only allowed to seize animals that are deemed 'dangerous' -- a limitation lifted under the recent proposal.

Among the changes being considered are steeper fines for offending dog owners, and the license for agents to collect barking dogs if their owners are not present. Once in a shelter, the animals will be killed if the not collected within a certain time-frame.

Many locals, like Kevin Kaeding of the Residents and Ratepayers Association, say that the proposal unfairly targets dog owners who are, for whatever reason, unable to quiet their pets or unavailable to claim them once they've been nabbed.

"Some of these ideas are over the top and there are a lot of vulnerable people, the elderly and those on low incomes will lose their companion pets," says Kaeding. "The councils are just trying to make it easier to destroy these animals."

In response the news, animal lovers and pet owners alike have weighed in, suggesting that the lives of dogs is being devalued by the proposal -- and pointing out that people often keep the animals specifically to ward off and alert their owners to possible intruders. Lovers of silence, on the other hand, have commented on the need for pet owners to take responsibility for their animal's behavior, even if it's not aggressive in nature.

"To all the whingers who live by the motto 'dogs bark - thats what they do' - yes they do, and they drive the rest of us mad when you let them," writes one commenter. "Keep them quiet, keep them inside, whatever, just don't let them ruin everyone elses right to peace & quite."

As anyone who's ever tried to fall asleep with the sound of a dog barking knows, it's not an easy thing to do -- but as much as the use of violence may come to mind in the wee hours of the morning, it is hard to believe that such a solution would be government-sanctioned.

If you live in earshot of a noisy dog, there are a number of solutions that could help solve the problem in a humane way. Experts suggest reaching-out to the animal's owner to discuss the issue and providing resources on dog trainers in the area. If that's not enough, the restless can take steps themselves -- like learning the dog's name and calling out for it to quiet down, then praising it when it does. Silent dog-whistles have also been cited among possible solutions to quiet barking dogs.

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