A Silverton, Oregon woman said she was shocked when police issued her a citation carrying a fine of $2,500 after neighbors complained of her barking dogs.
Colleen Nunn says she moved into her Silverton home on November 3rd of last year. By mid-November, she’d received her first barking dogs complaint from a neighbor who’d left a note on her door.
Her neighbor, “Jim,” who didn’t want to publicly reveal his real name, lives 50 feet away. “It’s just non-stop and it gets aggravating,” Jim told KATU about the barking.
In hopes of keeping them quiet during the day, Nunn began giving her dogs anti-anxiety medication. But, according to neighbors, it made no difference. “The dog’s just been barking from the time she leaves in the morning until she gets home at night,” Jim said.
Six weeks later, she received another complaint from neighbors and tried using anti-bark collars to quiet her dogs.
The collars, too, were ineffective and by January, she’d received a courtesy visit from police, warning her to quiet her dogs.
“I asked my daughter, ‘cause she was home while I was at work,” Nunn explained. “I said, ‘Hey, were the dogs out at all? I just want to be sure.’ She said, ‘No, the dogs were inside with me all day.’”
Still, she put muzzles on her dogs to quiet any barking and received no further complaints until last week when police arrived to issue a citation and a $2500 fine for the barking dogs.
“He [the officer] said, ‘I just want to prepare you for the sticker shock.’ And I’m like, ‘OK,'” Nunn said. “And then he gave it to me and I’m like, ‘$2,500! I mean. … I think it’s outrageous. I think it’s ridiculous!
Nunn’s neighbors agree the fine is excessive. Even Jim, the neighbor that initially complained said, “That’s ridiculous. If she was charged $50, $100 or whatever (I’d approve), but $2,500 I think is a little uncalled for.”
Typical first-time citations for barking dogs range from around $50 up to $350.
A court hearing is scheduled next month during which Nunn will explain the situation and what she’s doing to quiet her dogs. A judge will determine the final amount of the fine.