TAMPA, Fla. — Tampa residents filed more than 300 complaints about excessive dog barking in 2017. Tampa City Council members are now taking steps to address the problem on Thursday.
City leaders are getting information from Tampa Police regarding how the issue of nuisance animals is being handled currently, according to Chris Berg, a Legislative Aide to Councilman Luis Viera, who brought the motion.
If this item moves forward, it would give clear guidelines on how Code Enforcement and the Tampa Police Department are to handle these cases, Berg said.
For Tampa residents who say they've been dealing with excessive dog barking for years, they say help can't come soon enough.
"The dogs barked constantly," one woman told ABC Action News regarding her neighbor. "He lets them out at five in the morning. He has three of them and it's 11 at night or so and that's all they do is bark all day."
City leaders are taking a look at how other municipalities handle the issue of excessive animal noise. In Hillsborough County, negligent pet owners can face up to $500 in fines or 60 days in jail.
The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office is often the one to deal with the animal noise complaints within the county.
For someone to be fined in Hillsborough County, two neighbors need to sign affidavits saying the noise is excessive and is disturbing the peace of the neighborhood.
However other residents are concerned about the possibility of people getting fined too quickly.
"I think that could be a good idea but maybe start off with some warnings so that people can spend the money going to dog training instead of paying the city," said Joseph Fogarasi, a Tampa dog owner.
City council meets to discuss the issue Thursday morning.