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County proposal to address barking dog complaints

On Thursday, July 17, the Clackamas County Board of Commissioners will hold the first of two public hearings on proposed dog ordinance changes and the associated fees and fines.

The public hearing will be part of the commission’s regular business meeting, set for 6 p.m. in the Board Hearing Room on the fourth floor of the Public Services Building, 2051 Kaen Road, Oregon City. The public is welcome to attend to testify.

People who have comments but are unable to attend are encouraged to send them in writing to the Board of County Commissioners at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. no later than 6 p.m. July 30. The second hearing is scheduled for 10 a.m. Thursday, July 31, in the same location.

The major proposal in the draft ordinance amendments would establish a new resolution-based program to respond to complaints about barking dogs. The program would require two new staff positions in Clackamas County Dog Services to respond to and help resolve these complaints. The focus would be on voluntary compliance and mediation between the complainant and the dog owner, but could lead to fines and hearings if no other resolution can be found.

Since the new program is designed to resolve problems through mediation and agreement, the revenue generated from fees and fines is expected to be minimal. In order to cover the expense for additional staff, the board is considering an increase of $6 per dog license per year.

Because of the need to hire new staff, and to publicize the program and any potential license fee increase, the ordinance amendments related to the barking dogs program are proposed to not go into effect until Jan. 8, 2015.

Other proposed amendments in the ordinance include the following:

• Changes to reflect new and revised state laws on animal rescue entities, tethering restrictions, and minimum care requirements, including a new license for animal rescue entities and fines for not complying.

• Adding an option for people who apply for a multiple-dog license to either ask the county to inspect their premises or submit an inspection certificate from a state-licensed veterinarian.

• Removing a provision that allows the dog services manager to ask for assistance from law enforcement to execute a warrant for search and seizure of property.

• Adding a fine for veterinarians who do not comply with the county’s ordinance to report canine rabies vaccinations to Dog Services.

All the proposed changes, as well as an overview of the proposed program for responding to barking dogs complaints, are available at clackamas.us/dogs.




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