Seven years ago I wrote this piece! Thought I would recycle!!
This topic was suggested by Lin, for the weekly Friday Loose Bloggers Consortium. Do drop in and look at what other writers in our group have to say on the same topic every Friday. Ashok, gaelikaa, Lin, Maxi, http://rummuser.com/, Pravin, Shackman and The Old Fossil.
Every dog has its day and night.
I can’t sleep at night, neither can I nap in the day! So the internet gave me a terrific option. BOW_WOW NOISE CODE…
There is a new noise code in the US that will fine owners of dogs if their dog barks for more than 5 minutes in the night. NYTimes had reported that pet owners can be held responsible if their dog’s barking is “unreasonable and plainly audible” from nearby homes for a continuous period of at least 10minutes (from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.) or 5 minutes (from 10 p.m. to 7 a.m.).
Newsday quoted a dog owner, Marlene Hussey “How are you going to tell a dog you only have five minutes?”
What will happen if such a law is brought in by eager babu’s in India?
Let’s say, the dog has been trained to bark for 10 minutes, three times a day by his vet/trainer/owner to get rid of his angst—what will be the parameters of fining for exceeding 5 mins in the day. Can the owner charge the authorities for retraining bills?
The flip side is that the next great invention could possibly be something to measure the bark— A barking metre.
What about the neighbours complaints? Again an interesting question? The important aspect of this law is the validity and veracity of the neighbour’s complaint, his/her timing of the event. How true could the bow report be?
Next, what about the role of the Police in all this—who takes precedence for action—the shop breaker, the wife beater or the dog barking owner. Maybe nature’s call will take precedence.
The warning boards on gates of bungalows in Chennai already reads, “Beware of Biting Dogs”–so is this in preparation of a new bark-code? Will visitors have to bark (not exceeding 5 minutes) to gain entry?
Some canines may have a dogged defense that it was the owner who barked, then in the event who will gain the benefit of doubt.
Owners may also claim that it was the TV, another neighbour’s dog or a venomous spouse. How do you verify this? Who will get punished?
And what about Vets and dog-creches who have kennels full of home/sick dogs? Will they be bowwow-deep in trouble?
Finally, if the owner is ready to pay the penalty n number of times, will that be okay? Will a limit be set for the penalty? Will the dog have to be jailed for trying the patience of sympathetic judges–also canine owners? Will the dog be allowed on parole for bark-behaviour?
In all this what about Noise Pollution and the dog catchers. The neighbourhood dogs have great sessions every night barking news and abuse to each other and chasing two wheelers on the rampage. They also have how(l)-ooing serenades to dogs on heat. So in this case who gets penalised?
The last words–what about animal activists–what will they say?
Sleepless in Chennai Padmum