By Nicole Minier
CHURUBUSCO — Churubusco’s Town Council approved the first ordinance of the new year at last week’s meeting.
Ordinance 2017-1 addresses dog barking complaints and concerns brought forth by the citizens.
Town Marshal Mike Engle said the police department has received several calls of dog barking complaints from residents. An ordinance was drafted by the town to help officers enforce the complaints in a fair way.
Those who violate the new ordinance will have to pay the town $50 for their first offense, $100 for the second offense and $200 for three or more offenses.
The ordinance states that residents cannot have a pet that is “loud” including barking, howling or yelping, that causes an annoyance to fellow residents — disturbing the peace of their neighbors.
The ordinance also states that residents’ animals should not be at large — meaning pets need to be under the control of a person via a leash or similar device. Animals at large will be captured and taken to the Whitley County Humane Shelter, where the owners will have to pay the fees to release their pet.
Similar ordinances were addressed in 1958 and 1991, however, officials created the new ordinance to attempt to help mitigate more current concerns by citizens — mainly by raising the fee.
Previously, the fee for a dog barking violation was $10.
“In the past, we didn’t have an issue,” Engle said. “When we’d go out to warn people, that was enough to get them to take care of it.”
Engle said a few residences in the past year have garnered multiple complaints.