Apr 7, 2010 10:37 PM by David Ortiviz

UPDATED: Group fed up with barking dogs

The noise can be irritating, dogs barking throughout the night and day. It became such a nightmare for one Pueblo woman she's taking her neighbor to court.

She's on a crusade for tougher animal laws. "There's an epidemic," said Judith Todero. "A barking epidemic in this town," she added. Todero says barking dogs in her neighborhood kept her up every night for three months.

"Dogs would bark at 9 o'clock, 12 o'clock, 3 o'clock," said Todero. "And this is loud barking this is not a contained woof, woof, woof," she added.

The barking took its toll. "I started getting headaches, because I would be gritting my teeth listening to this constant barking," said Todero. She finally got fed up, and called Animal Control.

"They can call us, we're certainly going to address it, we know it can be a big problem," said Donna Straub, Pueblo Animal Services.

Both Pueblo and Colorado Springs have rules against persistent barking. After warnings, in the Springs, an Animal Control Officer can write tickets. But in Pueblo, only a judge can give fines. Plaintiffs, like Todero, must take their neighbors to court and they need proof.

"You've got to have either another witnesses, or you've got to have maybe a video tape of this," said Straub.

"How many people do you know that want to go to court?," said Todero. "Pit neighbor against neighbor." "We're afraid of retaliation," she added.

Reluctantly, Todero went through with it, and the barking outside her house has stopped, at least for now. "Oh this is fantastic, to me this is like a miracle," said Todero.

But she's still fighting to change Pueblo's system. "Make the fines tough, enforce them, don't put all the burden on the complainant," said Todero. After all she says, we all deserve some peace and quietness.

Todero started a group to address chronic barking, their next meeting is from 7-8 p.m. Thursday night at the Elks Lodge on 5th and Santa Fe. Two city council members are expected to be in attendance, the meeting is open to everyone.


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