Barking DogsThe mailman. The doorbell. The squirrels. A leaf…
The list of what dogs will bark at could go on and on. Barking dogs is one of the most common pet problems that dog owners and non-dog owners experience. It is widely understood that dogs communicate by barking, howling, yipping etc…but a barking dog should not affect the quality of life of their owner, nor their neighbor(hood).
Owners of animals in the Town of Frederick must prevent their animals from disturbing any person by barking, howling, yelping or any other audible sound. The first step in prevention is to understand why dogs bark. Dogs may bark for a variety of reasons including to gain attention, out of boredom or frustration, territoriality, playfulness or excitement, for health reasons, or other reasons. The next step is to take action. If you have been informed that your dog barks, or received a warning from an officer, take immediate action! It is important to correct the problem so your neighbors do not take legal action, or take their anger out on your dog. Some immediate solutions include:
*Bring your dog in the house when you leave. If you have a dog door, close it.
*Draw the blinds or curtains.
*Provide adequate shelter and fresh clean water, many dogs will bark or whine if they are cold or thirsty.
*Provide your dog more outdoor exercise/stimulation. Many dog toy companies have a variety of “boredom busters,” or puzzle toys.
*When your dog barks, investigate to find out what is causing the disturbance. Do not ignore the barking, and do not allow your dog to bark persistently.
Other solutions to consider:
*Anti-bark or Bark-limiting collars
*Ultrasonic devices to prevent barking
*Specialized/ Obedience training classes
Sometimes “dogs will be dogs,” however, a series of short barks periodically may feel like the barking lasts the whole day. The ordinance is written to protect citizens from being disturbed by barking dogs, and therefore is subject to what a person may feel is disturbing. This means there is no time limit, or time of day which dogs are allowed to bark, unlike our common noise ordinance.
To report a barking dog, the Frederick Police Department strongly encourages neighbors to take a pro-active role in trying to resolve a barking dog problem. This can be accomplished in person or by sending a signed letter describing the specific problem. If you are uncomfortable making the initial contact, an officer can contact them instead and issue a warning by contacting Weld County Communications 720-652-4222. To issue a warning, the officer will need the following information from you:
*The complete address of the dog owner
*A brief description of the dog(s) and
*A time frame when the last incident occurred
A TICKET CANNOT BE ISSUED UNLESS A WARNING WAS ISSUED TO THE OWNER/KEEPER WITHIN A 12 MONTH PERIOD
It’s getting to be that time of year, when people start pulling their RV’s and trailers out of storage. While the Town wants people to use their RV’s and trailers, there are ordinances in place to lessen the impact on our community.
The term Recreational Vehicle (RV) is often used as a broad category of vehicles and trailers which include temporary living quarters. For the purposes of the related municipal codes, RV’s also include (and are not limited to) vehicles which may be used for recreation or personal purposes, such as a boat, and/or the trailer used to transport such a vehicle. A Utility Trailer is defined as any wheeled vehicle, commercially manufactured or homemade, without motive power, which is designed to be drawn by a motor vehicle. Aside from being unsightly, these RV’s and trailers can cause a lot of issues including: obstructing intersections, blighting business districts and neighborhoods, occupying valuable parking spaces, creating safety hazards, and cluttering the streets. The ordinance allows for RV’s and Trailers to be parked on the street for loading and unloading, as long as this process is complete within 72 hours. For RV and Trailer owners, residential properties may only have one RV and one utility trailer on the property at any time, and may only park one of the two in the driveway.
Trailers can also fall under the “commercial vehicle” ordinance. The term Commercial Vehicle refers to any vehicle or trailer used for commercial or business purposes. Passenger vehicles are excluded. No commercial vehicle may be parked in the street or on residential property except for uninterrupted loading and unloading, up to 12 hours, or, during a job, to provide service to a property. This same code also prohibits the parking of semis, and any vehicle over 25 feet.
These vehicles are often left standing well beyond the hour limit. The interpretation of the ordinance is meant to keep the parking or storing of these vehicles to residential driveways, backyards, or storage facilities, and is NOT intended to “reset the hours” every time the vehicle is moved/driven. To report violations of this kind, please contact non-emergency dispatch at 720-652-4222.
Let's Talk Weeds
April showers bring May flowers…and weeds!
With the start of spring, our lawns and gardens will start to come back to life, and before we know it, they will start to grow like, well …weeds! In the past, some property owners have not kept their properties as tidy as the law requires. Of all the nuisances reported to the Town, weed complaints are among the most numerous each year.
Town ordinance requires property owners to keep grass and weeds cut to less than 8 inches in height. Anything taller than that is prohibited and, if left unabated, can be mowed by the Town at the owner's expense.
It's not just about aesthetics, taller grass and weeds can provide a breeding ground for all manner of vermin, from mosquitoes, chiggers and ticks to mice and snakes. Many of these pests can carry diseases that can affect humans and pets. In addition, most of the pollens that cause allergic reactions come from trees, weeds and grasses. And lastly, taller grass and weeds dry throughout the season, and create a very serious fire hazard.
Vacant properties, agricultural roadsides, and rental properties are often a problem. The Community Service Unit deals with some property owners year after year. Property owners or occupants are ultimately responsible for lawn maintenance. The strips of grass between sidewalks and Town streets are a common problem area as well, as there can be confusion about who is responsible for maintenance. Although the land near roadways typically is covered by Town right of way, it falls to the property owner or occupant to keep the grass and weeds trimmed—this includes along all sides of the property.
When a complaint is made, or a property is found to not be in compliance, the Community Service Unit will issue and post a ten (10) day notice to mow the property. The property will be re-inspected after 10 days have passed. If no other action has been taken, the Town can call in a mower to cut the grass. The bill is then charged to the property owner, and can be collected as part of their property tax bill. In the case of properties without a residence, officers will send a notice (by mail) to the property owners listed on the county assessor’s website. To file a complaint, please contact non-emergency dispatch at 720-652-4222.
Choose the Path of LEASHED Resistance!
At first glance, The Town of Frederick Municipal Code, regarding the use of leashes for dogs may be a little “ruff” to understand. For dogs on their owner's property, or on the property of another who has given permission, the ordinance requires that dogs stay on that property by means which prevent the dog from crossing into any public way. This can be accomplished several ways, including, but not limited to; the use of a leash when in the presence of a person, a fence, an underground electronic barrier with a transmitter collar worn by the dog, or voice control of a competent person.
For dogs off their owner's property, the ordinance explains that they must be restrained by a leash 15 feet or shorter. To summarize, all dogs must be leashed unless they are on private property. The exception would be when visiting the Town of Frederick Dog Park located at Milavec Lake!
It is important to note that leashes don’t exist just to be a buzzkill, they’re an important safety tool. They protect the safety of humans and non-humans alike, and we all need to take responsibility for the use of them.
A person charged with a dog running at large violation for the first time, or second time within a three-year period, may at the discretion of the charging officer, be eligible for a mail-in plea of guilty, not requiring a court appearance. Residents of Frederick holding a current dog license issued by the Frederick Police Department (either at the time of the violation or having purchased the dog license prior to entry of the guilty plea by mail) are eligible for the early pay option. The early payment option carries with it a $75.00 fine, $25 surcharge and $50 impound fee per animal. Dog running at large is designated a noncriminal violation; therefore not subject to incarceration upon conviction and not entitled to a trial by jury. Any person convicted or pleading guilty to this charge may be fined an amount not to exceed $1,000. Please contact non-emergency dispatch at 720-652-4222 to report off-leash dogs causing unease and stray dogs as well.