ELKINS, WV (LOOTPRESS) – The Elkins City Council revised the city code last Thursday to address laws pertaining to animals housed within the city causing disturbances through frequent noise.
As announced Monday by the Elkins City Council, Ordinance 307 was approved to address nuisance noise caused by animals, and will be addressed by the Elkins Police Department effective immediately.
The ordinance updates the language used in the city code, which previously addressed only dogs, and prohibited allowing them “to bark or howl continuously for more than 15 consecutive minutes.”
The new language utilized in the updated code will broaden the scope of animals to which the regulations pertain, and states that “no person shall keep or harbor any dog, cat or other animal within the City which, by frequent and habitual barking, howling, yelping, crying or squalling creates unreasonably loud and disturbing noises of such character, intensity and duration as to disturb the peace, quiet and good order of the City.”
The changes, brought into effect as a result of “internal and external feedback,” pertains to Elkins City Code §90.30.
Those in violation of the updated code will reportedly be subject to fines established by way of council resolution, the maximum of which currently stands at $100.
“This new language is similar to the language in city code about breach of peace,” explains Elkins Police Department Chief Travis Bennett.
“One of the offenses in that section is when a person is making unreasonably loud noise, and that’s a judgment call, too. I have faith that my officers will be able to make good decisions about when to issue citations and when to try to address the situation through education and warnings instead.”
Bennett goes on to explain that complaints of this nature should be referred to city police, comparing the disturbance of excessive animal noise to that of a loud party.
“This ordinance is enforced by city police,” says Bennett. “Loud barking is really no different from a loud party that is keeping neighbors from enjoying their property and should be reported to my department so an officer can go out and evaluate the situation.”
The Monday release from the Elkins City Council can be seen here.