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Astoundingly Ill-Informed Sheriff and Procrastinating Commissioners Leave Victim to Suffer Unaided in Delaware County, Indiana
Muncie Star Press - Muncie, Indiana - Written by Keith Roysdon - November 16, 2004
MUNCIE - A neighbor's St. Bernard barks all night, keeping Bonnie Claflin awake until she needs to get up at 4 a.m. to go to work.
Claflin asked the Delaware County commissioners on Monday if they could help her with her noisy problem.
The commissioners said ongoing animal control efforts might have some barking dog measures, but in the meantime, they said, she should seek the help of sheriff's deputies.
Sheriff George Sheridan said his deputies routinely dealt with barking dog complaints, but Sheridan added, "You can't keep a dog from barking."
Claflin said the dog, which is owned by a neighbor two doors down, is barking when she goes to bed at 8 p.m. and barking when she gets up at 4 a.m.
"The city has an ordinance against barking dogs," Claflin said. "Why can't the county?"
Commissioners President James St. Myer said he believed a proposed animal control ordinance would include such a provision.
Claflin said sheriff's deputies had told her that the county lacked a barking dog ordinance, but St. Myer said, "There is a disturbing the peace ordinance."
"There is action that the police can take," St. Myer added.
County Attorney Donald Dunnuck suggested Claflin hire an attorney to contact the neighbor.
Sheridan said his department gets many calls about barking dogs.
"Our policy is to go out and warn the individual about it," the sheriff said. "The majority of the time that usually solves the problem."
Sheridan advised "developing a good relationship with your neighbors."
"And working on it as a team effort instead of an adversarial effort," Sheridan added.
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