Nova Scotia

Halifax considers more barking dog rules

The Halifax Regional Municipality may clamp down on dogs that bark persistently and disrupt neighbourhoods.

The Halifax Regional Municipality may clamp down on dogs that bark persistently.

Councillors are considering changing the animal control bylaw so it takes into account all types of noise-related dog disturbances, not just 20 minutes of barking.

Coun. Mary Wile, who represents Clayton-Park West, asked for a report on the issue last November.

"It became something of a nuisance and people were calling about it," she said.

The report prepared by municipal staff says barking violations are generally difficult to enforce and that the wording of the bylaw compounds that.

Currently, a dog is considered to be too noisy and an unreasonable disturbance if it barks or howls continuously for 20 minutes, even if it happens only once.

This means a dog that barks for 18 minutes several times a day, or for five minutes every morning at 5 a.m., is not in violation of the bylaw.

The report says most animal control bylaws across Canada don't include a specific time and refer instead to persistent barking or howling.

"The terminology of 'persistent barking' or 'persistently barking' acknowledges that dogs by nature do bark, some level of barking is to be expected in a community that allows dogs and that such barking is to be accepted as long as it is occasional and brief," the report states.

Wile said Mississauga, Ont., uses its noise bylaw to cover all pets.

"So it can even be a cat that's out there whining and meowing and things like that," she said.

Chebucto community council will discuss the matter on Monday.