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presstalk 671-TALK

Editor’s Note: In response to numerous calls and e-mails concerning barking dogs, we are printing local law as written.

Sec. 10-104. Dogs becoming nuisance.

It shall be unlawful for any person to own, keep, possess or maintain any dog in such a manner so as to constitute a public nuisance as provided in this chapter. The following acts or actions by an owner or possessor of any dog are hereby declared to be a public nuisance and are, therefore, unlawful:

(1) Failure to exercise sufficient restraint necessary to control any dog as required by section 10-102.

(2) Maintaining a vicious dog other than in a manner as described in subsection 10-103(1).

(3) Maintaining any dog that is diseased and/or dangerous to the public health.

(4) Failure to confine a female dog while in heat in such a manner as described in subsection 10-103(2).

(5) Allowing or permitting any dog to damage the property of anyone other than its owner, including, but not limited to, turning over garbage containers or damaging gardens, flowers, or vegetables.

(6) Maintaining his or her property in a manner that is offensive, annoying, or dangerous to the public health, safety, or welfare of the community because of the number, type, variety, density, location, or condition of the dogs on the property.

(7) Allowing any dog to habitually bark, whine, or howl in a serious annoyance or interference with the reasonable use and enjoyment of neighboring premises. For the purposes of this section “habitually” shall mean continuously for a period of ten (10) minutes, or intermittently for one-half (1/2) hour or more.

(1985 Code, § 3-204; Ord. No. 03-04, Mar. 2003)

• Via e-mail: I would like to give Kudos to “Dog Tired” last week, which talked about barking dogs. We also live in a very nice neighborhood and are always having our peace interrupted by dogs that bark as well. I’d like to add is that I just don’t understand WHY when a person is home all through the week that they still feel the need to use their blower all day on Sunday. I realize that noise pollution is a fact of life Monday through Friday, and we HAVE to live with it. but it would be nice if on the weekends (at least Sunday), we could enjoy some peace. We are surrounded by people that I KNOW are retired, yet, every Sunday, while we are trying to enjoy the beautiful day on our patio, we have blowers being used from sun up to sunset. One man that lives behind us makes it an all day activity. It goes on and off, on and off, etc. Please people! Try to remember that you’re not alone on this planet, and try to be considerate of others who actually MAY want to relax and enjoy their day. Thanks.

• Via e-mail: I was wondering if the bikers who constantly ride on Virtue Road have a death wish? Not only is the road not appropriate to walk on, riding a bike is very dangerous. I also love to exercise and do so at the gym. There are many bike trails one near Old Stage and other areas of Knox County. Now if I hit one of these bikers while I travel within the speed limit and injure one of them, I would be held responsible for their damages or even death. Do you know how many teenagers drive on that road? If you are not familiar with the road drive down entering off of Kingston Pike and you will see the bends and winding areas. It is not a road you want to pass on and there are very little areas to pass, but the bikers signal for you to pass them even in no pass zones. I don’t care that this backs up traffic, I am more concerned with a life of the person or people on the bikes and the quality of the person charged with vehicular homicide or the loss of insurance due to the pain and suffering and mental stability of the driver and the person hit on the bike. Please, if you value your life don’t ride on Virtue Road and choose a more appropriate bike trail. This mostly happens on the weekends.

• Via e-mail: I would like to respond to a letter from presstalk (Oct. 23) about people turning left into the new Weigel’s. I have lived in Sugarwood for eight years and since that time, I have constantly had to swerve out of the turn lane because of approaching cars — the only difference is, they were turning left onto Smith Road. This has nothing to do with Weigel’s. This is not a new development. Drive defensively, pay attention and please stop blaming this on the new Weigel’s.

• Via e-mail: In response to recent comments on nuisance dogs, I recommend a three-step course of action for those offended by dogs that bark too much: 1. Confront the owner of the offensive dog. Make you concerns known to him or her, and politely ask that they find an appropriate solution. This is much more effective than writing a rant in a community newspaper. 2. If step 1 fails, repeat the step and reinforce your frustration with the pet owner. If no progress is made, then and only then is calling animal control an option. This action is only appropriate when the problem behavior is truly excessive in duration and communicating with the owner has failed. 3. Buy, or better yet, adopt your own dog, and allow the unconditional love that comes from pet ownership relieve the stress from your neighborhood situation and unwind the uptightness that dominates your existence. P.S. My two dogs are huge The University of Tennessee football fans and they love riding in the back seat of my car as we correctly navigate the roundabout.

• I want to address the comment in [Oct. 23 presstalk] from the person who called people in Farragut “dog haters” who were complaining about dogs who have irresponsible pet owners. Just because you don’t want to listen to your neighbor’s dog bark and howl all day and all night and you don’t want to be stepping in their excrement in your yard or mowing over it, doesn’t make you a dog hater. My husband and I have three dogs and three cats. They are either in the house or [inaudible]. The dogs are either on leash when we are outside in the front yard or they’re behind our fence. They only go out for short periods of time, and they are supervised. We do not allow them to sit there and bark and howl and disturb our neighbors, or make other neighborhoods’ dogs bark. When we take them for a walk, we take a grocery bag with us to pick up anything that they might leave behind. It’s called good manners and common courtesy of being a good neighbor. We are animal lovers, we are not dog haters. The person who made this comment owes everyone an apology. I bet they’re one of the people who lets their dog run loose, lets their dog howl and bark and be a nuisance and probably thought the person from the week before’s comment was about him. And if so, then clean up your act, clean up your own backyard before you start trashing other people.

• I was just wondering, is anybody besides me highly suspicious that all of a sudden gas prices have dropped drastically in the weeks before the presidential election? I just find that a little on the hmmm side. And I’m sure both parties are going to take credit for the reduction in gas prices when neither one of them should and neither one of them has done a blasted thing to curb corporate greed among the oil companies or pretty much any other type of corporate entity. We need term limits, we need line-item veto, we need balanced budget, we need real Americans in there who know what it’s like to live from paycheck to pay check. But I don’t see that happening with the people who are running this year.

• I’d like to recommend everyone get a free credit report. You might be surprised what’s on there. Both my daughter and I got one, and I found out that I had a bill turned over from [a hospital] for collection, and it was a bill that had been paid, but there was a balance. The balance was 82 cents. My daughter had one also turned in by a medical facility for $20. These go on your permanent record for seven years. And apparently these medical institutions don’t feel it necessary to even send you a bill when there’s a balance due. Neither one of us knew that I owed 82 cents or that my daughter owed $20. So, this can really affect your lending ability, especially right now with the way the economy is, so get it checked and try to get it straightened out as soon as possible.

• To those that have been complaining about the yapping and barking dogs, I understand your plight in part. I am a dog owner; in fact, I own three dogs. If I hear my dogs barking outside, I bring them in. I’ve read these complaints, and one thing that I hassle under is have you spoken to your neighbors in a nice manner and told them, “Hey, your dogs are barking and they are disturbing me, could you do something about it?” If you do that, I think in most cases you would find the dog owner will be very happy to oblige. In a lot of cases, people are almost immune to hearing their own dogs barking — in a lot of cases they’re not even aware of it going on. So instead of maybe calling the paper and whining about it, you should knock on your neighbor’s door. That would be a gentlemanly way to do it.

• I certainly agree with the recent articles appearing about the barking dog problems in this area, particularly the River Lake Subdivision. The dog is just constantly barking. The owners have absolutely no consideration for the area people that can hear his dog [that] barks for hours at a time. I agree that something should be done about such inconsiderate people.

• Does anyone realize there are now three traffic lights within the length of two football fields between Concord Road and Campbell Station Road? This is ridiculous. I just ran into red lights at two of the three lights. This makes no sense at all. These lights are much too closely bunched together. Can’t we get rid of at least one of them, and have traffic divert to the other route around the other traffic light? Let’s use some common sense here, not every business needs a traffic light in front of their store.


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