JEFFERSON-Who let the dogs out?
That’s what Larry Nelson wants to know.
With dreams of quiet tranquility motivating him to relocate to the sleepy mountain county of only 28,000 people, Nelson thought his noisy and sleepless nights were over.
He said he was wrong.
During the county’s board of commissioners’ meeting Monday morning, Nelson said that “chronic, free range barking” of neighborhood dogs has seriously impacted his family’s quality of life and has left him restless after exhausting all legal options for recourse.
“I wake up often to dogs not just barking for a few minutes, but for three hours at a time” said Nelson.
He came before the board to ask commissioners to amend the county’s animal ordinance to address these noisy canines.
He said he understands that “all dogs bark” from time-to-time, but the duration of the all night howling is simply unbearable.
“It’s had a serious quality of life impact,” Nelson told the board.
On one occasion, Nelson said neither he nor his family could go back to sleep.
“I have to close my windows,” said Nelson. “I can’t breathe in the fresh mountain air I moved here for. I have to stream music to block all out (the barking). My request is for you to consider adding to the ordinance to allow law enforcement to address these extreme situations. I’m not talking about a dog barking five or 10 minutes. I’m talking hours.”
As far as he can tell, Nelson said it appears his neighbors simply let their dogs run throughout the community freely. He said he owns hunting dogs and understands how dogs behave, but that this situation has surpassed all his patience.
“I work from home, so I can live anywhere I want,” said Nelson. “My wife did some research on where we wanted to live. We picked what we thought was the best balance. We have no regret on living here. We bought a gutted foreclosure and moved here in May. The quality of life here has been exceptional. I just have one issue that won’t go away.”
Nelson said he’s tried to investigate all of his options to correct the situation and was surprised to learn he has exhausted all avenues to metaphorically muzzle the dogs.
Commissioners came to an informal agreement to take a month to study the current ordinance to see what additions can be made before reconvening to further discuss the issue.
Reach Jesse Campbell at 336-846-7164.