Potential Fine for Barking Dogs

Two Chicago aldermen are trying to pass a law that would fine the owners of dogs that bark non-stop. Below is the Chicago Tribune article on this potential new ordinance. Any thoughts on this?
Posted by Dan P. Blake at 5:15 p.m.

City pet owners would be fined up to $250 for having a dog that barks incessantly under a proposal introduced today by two influential Chicago aldermen.
Ald. Richard Mell (33rd) said he's proposing the ordinance because of complaints he's gotten from constituents whose neighbors will not shut their dogs up.
"People have called our office and said, " 'Would you mind talking to the neighbor about the dog barking?' " Mell said. "Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't."

Mell envisioned a situation where a police officer or city employee would respond to a call, and if a dog was in a yard continuously barking in the middle of the night, the pet's owner would be ticketed. 

"I would hope they wouldn't call if a dog barked just once," he said.

The proposed ordinance now reads that he barking would have to be the type that "unnecessarily disturbs the comfort, quiet, peace or repose" of a person any time, day or night. But Mell said the ordinance could be changed when it's considered at the Police and Fire Committee.

Specifically, the noises he's targeting include continued habitual barking, whining, crying, howling, whimpering, crowing or other loud noises that are louder than two people talking at a distance of 100 feet or more.

The fine would range from $50 to $250, Mell said.

Ald. Patrick O'Connor (40th), along with Mell, introduced the proposal at today's council meeting.



  1. It's about time! My neighbors dog barks constantly from the minute it is let out until they let it back in. It just sits there and barks. Try having company in your yard and listening to that constantly. I hope more alderman jump on this.

  2. Will there next be a proposal to fine parents with screaming hungry children in public places?

  3. look...an occassional bark here and there is not going to get a complaint.....what they are talking about is a dog that is put outside and just barks and barks and barks...and the owners do NOTHING to quiet them....im sorry if you all disagree but that is most annoying

  4. I agree with this. I love dogs, I have two dogs. But our neighbors keep their dogs outside all the time and they are constantly barking. Of course I wouldn't mind if a dog barks a few times or even a few minutes while playing but when it is just non stop and the owners are taking no actions to do anything about it. They should be ticketed, they are disterbing the peace.

  5. Has anyone noticed their dog barking for unusually long periods of time for no apparent reason lately? We live the the Western suburbs and for the last week our golden retriever has been standing outside for hours barking at absolutely nothing. He barks so long he that he starts to lose his voice. He was never a barker before and he's 6 now. We thought this was unusual but just something with him until today when we spoke to our auto mechanic. His Lab (who also has never been a barker) is suddenly standing in the back yard barking at nothing for hours. We have ordered a bark collar for our neighbors sake, but I was curious to see if anyone else is suddenly having this problem.

  6. shouldn't this be covered by existing noise ordinances and not specifically target dog barking. It's a fairly arbitrary distinction (band practices, construction, etc.).