Sep 20, 2022 - News

City Council says hush, puppies

Illustration of a dog being shushed with a finger to his snout.
Illustration: Lindsey Bailey/Axios

Your pet could go from being the most beautiful special creature in the universe to a nuisance in the eyes of the law much faster than in the past.

What's happening: Yesterday, the Atlanta City Council halved the amount of time a dog can bark before its owner runs the risk of being cited and paying a $150 fine.

  • The ordinance also applies to cats and birds — basically any animal that can make a noise.

Details: Under the new ordinance, a dog barking for longer than 10 minutes (without a 20-second break between barks) can be considered a nuisance.

  • Previously, the animal had to bark, meow, whine or crow for 20 minutes.

Of note: For each additional citation, the fine will increase. Owners don't run the risk of losing their animal (unless officers think the pet is malnourished, tethered or otherwise in danger), says Councilmember Dustin Hillis, who sponsored the legislation as chair of the public safety committee.

  • Mayor Andre Dickens must sign the legislation for the ordinance to take effect.

What they're saying: "No animal should be barking for even 10 minutes, much less 20, unless it is either unhappy or something is wrong," Hillis tells Axios.

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