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Have a Barking Dog? The City May Soon Charge You For That!

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Does your four-legged canine companion like to express him or herself? As in, does your dog bark...a lot? If so, you may want to start stashing some extra cash in your piggy bank, because the Los Angeles City Council voted unanimously yesterday to impose fines "on the owners of dogs that bark excessively — even if the canines are not licensed by the city," according to the L.A. Times.

The fees would begin at $250 for the first offense, and double each time hereafter up to a third offense, "if a hearing conducted by the Department of Animal Services determines that a dog barks too much."

The amount of "too much" barking is being defined as "10 minutes or more, or intermittently for 30 minutes or more within a three-hour period."

Dog owners would, however, "have time to remedy the problem before a fine would be imposed," points out Animal Services head Brenda Barnette. Granted, her department currently has "a six-month backlog of hearings, the bulk of which involve excessive barking cases."

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Some fear that the fines will be crippling to lower-income dog owners.

The next step is for Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa to sign the revised ordinance, which is likely to happen, and the ordinance will be implemented soon after.