Be a Courteous Neighbor – Take Responsibility for Pets
by Carin Kirkegaard
Longer daylight hours and warmer weather has the neighborhood venturing outside after being cooped up from the snow and cold winds of winter. Whether riding a bike, taking a jog, or walking a dog on Castle Pines North’s 14 miles of recreational trails intertwined throughout the community, many residents have been out enjoying spring.
The number of complaints for unattended pets increases in the community once spring arrives. The three most common complaints include: dogs that bark incessantly, dogs that roam the neighborhood, and dogs that defecate on public property.
According to Douglas County’s ordinance on the Control and Licensing of Dogs and Pet Animals, it is a class two petty offense if “the dog’s owner fails to prevent his/her dog, regardless of whether the dog is on or off the owner’s premises, from disturbing the peace of any other person by loud, habitual, or persistent barking, howling, yelping or whining.” The owner of the offending pet is first issued a warning by the county, but if they fail to keep their pet from disturbing others a series of penalties will follow. Ranging from a $50 fine for the first offense, $75 for a second offense and for the third and any subsequent offense the owners will be fined $75 and an additional $25 for each violation over three.
As important as it is for a pet owner to keep a barking dog inside, it is also important to express annoyance if the barking dog is disturbing the peace. Rather than jump the gun and call Douglas County Animal Control, try calling the dog’s owner and asking to have the dog brought inside. Many times the owner may be unaware that their dog is an annoyance and will gladly do what it takes to avoid offending their neighbors.
Douglas County also has an ordinance for keeping dogs outside a fenced yard on a leash. Controlling a dog by voice command is not considered synonymous to a leash. Any dog running free in the community is subject to impoundment by a Douglas County Animal Control Officer. The at-large dog will be held no less than five days and the owner will be fined $15, plus boarding fees incurred. Allowing a dog, no matter the size or temperament, to roam the neighborhood is a disturbance.
If a dog is roaming the neighborhood without a leash, call the Douglas County Animal Control at 303-660-7529. If the dog seems aggressive and there is immediate concern for safety, call the Douglas County Sheriff’s emergency line at 303-660-7500 or call 911.
Clean up after Pets
It is also important to be courteous to neighbors when walking pets. It is vital to the community upkeep to pick-up dog waste. Although there are 15 sites throughout the community where dog waste bags are available, always remember to bring along a bag when walking and do not allow a dog to urinate on neighborhood yards. Dog urine is damaging to lawns burning the grass and leaving an unsightly brown spot. Pet waste also pollutes storm drain water and is a health hazard.
Living in a community where neighbors are close it is important to respect others and take responsibility for pets. For more information on living with pets visit the website at www.cpnhoa.org and click on “Features”.
To reach the Douglas County Animal Control call 303-660-7529.