Barking and Sleepless Nights Push East Anchorage Resident to Action
Neighbor wants Anchorage Assembly to reduce the number of minutes a dog can bark before a noise violation is issued
ANCHORAGE - An Anchorage resident for 20 years, Will Johnson says he his family have had enough of their neighbors’ dogs keeping them awake.
"Psychologically and emotionally I'm at the end of my rope,” said Johnson.
Johnson, who is recovering from prostate cancer, says there are four dogs, two on either side of his house, that are driving him crazy.
"To go to work and leave your dogs out unattended for prolonged periods of time interrupts the neighborhood," Johnson said.
“The dogs can stay out all day long but if they're going be out and you know they're going to chase every pedestrian going down the sidewalk, then you need to be out there with them to quiet them," he said.
The father of three is worried about his wife, who works 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. as a nurse and needs a quiet environment to sleep during the day.
"If she's at work and administering [medicine] or attending bedside service to patients she wants to be fully alert, she wants to be present with them, to avoid mistakes, to avoid errors,” said Johnson.
Johnson, who has lived in his East Anchorage home since 1998, says he’s tried unsuccessfully for three years to work with his neighbors to solve the problem.
"There has been aggression one of the neighbors has driven by and given me the finger,” said Johnson.
Johnson says the dog owners often break city law, which says dogs can’t bark consecutively for more than 7 minutes during the day and 5 minutes during the night (10 p.m. to 7 a.m.).
But Johnson must prove the violation to Animal Control.
Under the code, Johnson must record the dogs barking for the extended period of time in order for a violation notice to be issues.
"7 minutes, really when you're sitting there doing a recording, can be a long time… I’ve gone up to as much as 6 minutes and 50 seconds,” said Johnson.
Johnson brought his fight to the Animal Control Advisory Board’s meeting Thursday night.
He's asking the board to recommend the Anchorage Assembly reduce the number of minutes of recorded proof – so that more citations can be made, forcing owners to take action.
He told board members how he has difficulty meeting the 7-minute recording requirements.
After Johnson finished his address, board member Al Milspaugh said he agreed with many of Johnson’s concerns.
“I'm going to do what I can to help you out," said Milspaugh.
Assembly members Elvi Gray-Jackson and Harriet Drummond have also responded to Johnson’s emails.
Drummond told Johnson that she’d request the Assembly’s Public Safety Committee, which deals with concerns, take up the issue.