This page is part of the Enforceable Law portion of Section Five: |
which is the Activist section of barkingdogs.net
About the Model Anti-Barking Law Sponsored by the Dog Science Network
A Revolutionary New Ordinance
This website contains two pages that relate to the anti-barking law put forth by The Dog Science Network. The other page, titled Our Proposed New Law, contains the new law itself, written very much as we intend for it to appear in the various official codes of animal regulation, while the page you are currently reading discusses the rationale for our new law and describes how it differs from previous attempts at regulating canine vocal behavior.
If you look at the only two types of barking laws that have heretofore been in existence, you will realize that such ordinances can never work, because they are geared entirely toward forcing the victims to jump through hoops.
Obviously, you can't really quiet a dog by forcing the human next door to go through contortions, because the neighbor is the victim, and by definition, the victim is not the one causing the problem.
To solve the problem you must gear your law to the party or parties that are causing the problem, and the fact is that your barking problem was created by the laws and policies put in place by your own local government.
To address a problem caused by local government, one must craft a law that addresses the behavior of that governmental body, which our law does.
In fact, this is the first barking law to ever mandate that local government must recognize that chronic barking is a threat to the public health and safety. In addition, it is the first such law that goes on to declare that, accordingly, local government must execute a vigorous program of barking dog prevention and education.
Our proposed new ordinance also differs from its predecessors in that our law is not focused on when the dog is barking or where he is barking or how often he is barking. Rather, our only concern is with whether the animal's behavior is having a negative impact on the surrounding community of humans. It really is a matter of a different mindset.
Thus, the language of earlier laws spoke of what the dogs were doing and how often they were doing it, while our law speaks only of protecting people from the harmful effects of noise, and of having it force-fed into their homes.
Our proposed new ordinance also marks the first time that a barking law ever contained an abatement component that is actually readily enforceable. In part that is because ours is also the first law that ever said that if a cop or an animal control officer sees and hears a dog barking, then, that's enough proof that the dog is barking for the dog owner to get a ticket. All the previous laws, the ones written by lawyers for the dog service and supply industries, thought that wasn't nearly enough proof.
This is also the first law that makes reference to putting a dog to the well-proven technique of the behavioral test in order to determine that which can, thereby, often be made readily obvious.
All those factors combined are what make this law revolutionary.
An Educational Tool
One of the best things about the new law is that given the information it contains, the text of the document can itself serve as a piece of educational literature. Thus, even if our efforts to get it adopted into law are soon dismissed in any given town, just the fact that the authorities were confronted with the document long enough to refuse to respond to the information, that will still ensure that at least then they will know that chronic barking represents a danger to both the public health and safety, and maybe soon thereafter the realization will follow as to how really dangerous it can be when they allow noise that intense to be force-fed into someone's living quarters. Once they know that, there is no unringing that bell.
A Law with a Fail-safe Enforcement Mechanism Built Into It
Local governments are notorious world-wide for not enforcing their barking laws. Our ordinance has a sort of fail-safe mechanism built into it, because it includes a provision that states that the county must be constantly reminding the public not only of the laws existence, but also of its importance. That, then, makes it extremely difficult for the powers that be to attempt to slide by without enforcing the new ordinance, once they have adopted it.
A Sure Sign of Changing Times
However, beyond all that, the introduction of this law at this time is meaningful because it is one of the first, most powerful signs to emerge that people are coming to think about noise in a new way. Science has given us the facts on the true dangers of noise, and the ready availability of information is now driving a well-educated public to enlighten its leadership.
Indeed, the people driving this law are merely the vanguard, and the law itself is just among the first telltale stirrings of something much larger - a new, anti-noise movement - that will soon rise to prominence and then to dominance, just as the anti-smoking movement did toward the end of the last century.
Beyond any doubt, the two movements are parallel in every way. We have the moral high ground in dealing with this critically important public health issue. The facts are in our corner and the science is on our side. Add to that the fact that in this format, we have instantaneous documentation available to us through the internet, and you realize, then, that it is just a matter of time. When it comes to barking dogs and other important noise related issues, sooner or later our leaders are either going to have to get in front and actually lead, or they are going to be left behind. The choice is theirs. But the clock is already ticking on that one, because the people they are supposed to be leading are already on the move.
It is important to note, however, that for all the advantages our proposed ordinance has over the statutes that came before, if it is adopted and executed in isolation, it cannot work and it will not stand. For our ordinance to work, it will need to be executed in conjunction with a couple supporting ordinances. Therefore, after reading through our proposed barking law, you might want to read our page titled, Supporting Statutes.
Written by Craig
Spanish translation - Traducción al español
This website and all its content, except where otherwise noted, are © (copyright) Craig Mixon, Ed.D., 2003-2017.