Clackamas Co. considers new ordinance to respond to barking dog complaints

Dog owners in Clackamas County could soon be paying more to license their pets. Money from the increase would go to pay for a new program the county is considering to help reduce barking dog complaints.

In a letter the county currently gives to dog owners who they receive complaints about, the county says complaints about barking dogs are among the most frequent they get.

But, the county is considering a new program to respond to complaints about barking dogs. Two new employees would be hired to mediate between dog owners and people who complain about barking.

If that doesn't work, hearings would happen and dog owners could get fined.

To pay for the program, the county wants to increase license fees by $6 per year, per dog.

"I guess six bucks wouldn't be that big a deal as long as the money was actually put where it was supposed to go," said dog owner Danny Green.

"I would only think that was OK if that extra six dollars went to the animal shelter," said dog owner Barb Flaherty.

Flaherty also isn't sure if she'd use the program or not.

She says the county helped her in the past to resolve a complaint against a neighbor without mediation.

"Yes, it actually did work. We didn't really speak after that, but that was all right," said Flaherty.

Green says he'd think about it.

"If talking to the neighbors, or if it was a neighbor that we really couldn't talk to, we might consider it," explained Green.

The Clackamas County board of commissioners will hold two public hearings on this issue. The first is set for July 17 at 6 p.m. at the Board Hearing Room in Oregon City. The second hearing is set for 10 a.m. on July 31 in the same location.

It's unclear when the board will vote on it.