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Give feedback Tuesday on La Plata County’s proposed barking dog rules

On Tuesday, community members will have one more opportunity to give feedback on proposed animal control regulations before La Plata County commissioners consider a second reading of the ordinance.

The new rules, which are unprecedented for the county, would instate penalties for barking dogs, animal cruelty and dogs at large.

The issue of barking dogs is a particularly divisive among rural residents, and complaints about barking dogs have been heard by county commissioners for decades.

With input from the La Plata County Humane Society, Sheriff’s Office and 6th Judicial District Attorney, county staff members over the past year wrote the proposed changes, which define a dog at large as one that is off the owner’s premises and not under physical restraint or immediate command.

Barking for a continuous 20 minutes is deemed a “per se nuisance” under the proposed code, though barking for less than a continuous 20 minutes also could be subject to consequences, which include fines and court appearances.

County officials would be able to seize an animal, including livestock, believed to be neglected, abandoned or otherwise abused.

An owner also would be required to register a guard dog – one trained for protection and/or attack – with the county each year.

Public comments will be taken before the commissioners’ vote.

The meeting is scheduled for 10 a.m. Tuesday at the La Plata County Administration Building, 1101 East Second Ave.

jpace@durangoherald.com

Proposed regulations (PDF)

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