Letter to the Editor

Need protection from barking dogs

Saturday, February 11, 2006

To the editor:

This is a plea for a change in dog laws in Cape Girardeau. I have had to endure barking dogs next door for years. Unfortunately, that house has a backyard fenced for dogs and has had three owners since 1998, all with barking dogs. I realize this problem occurs all over town.

My husband and I, as well as several neighbors, have called the police and animal-control officers several times only to be told they can't do anything. They could only suggest that we file formal complaints and ask to be heard by a judge who might rule that the dogs be put inside at night.

I am pleading for a quicker and surer resolution, because that would not solve the problem. Common sense tells me the dog owners would not always be at home at night or comply if they are. We would have to suffer through more weeks trying to get the law enforced.

Many people are at home in daytime and have to hear the dogs day and night. Losing one or two nights of sleep is miserable, so imaging it going on for weeks into months. To put this in perspective, imagine a car horn blowing almost constantly next door and you are powerless to stop it.

In my opinion, if more than one household notifies the police more than once and files a complaint, the dogs should be removed immediately. Why should barking dogs take priority over the well-being of Cape Girardeau residents?

RUTHIE SMITH, Cape Girardeau