Since You Asked: Owners of barking dogs first get a warning

Thank you for confirming the dog barking ordinance in Medford. There are just as many, if not more, offenders in the county.

While you are on the subject, what does one do to report the offenders who seem to be deaf to their dog's continued noise?

— Phyllis C., Central Point

Well, Phyllis, the ordinance on the Jackson County website under Animal Regulations and 612.09 Keeper Regulations lays it out pretty clearly: "(c) It is unlawful for a keeper to fail to prevent a dog from being a public nuisance. For purposes of this Chapter "a public nuisance" means: (2) A dog unreasonably causing annoyance, alarm or noise disturbance at any time of the day or night, by frequent or prolonged noises which may be heard beyond the boundary of the keeper's property."

We talked to Colleen Macuk, program manager at the county's Animal Care and Control, and she said the agency attempts to resolve the issue with education and a warning.

"We start by trying to resolve the issue between the people," she said.

If the problem continues it can lead to a citation, and if the citation isn't cleared up or taken care of, it can turn into a heavy fine, she said. Fines start at a minimum of $47 and can increase to as much as $600, depending on how many times the problem occurs. Fines are determined case by case.

She said if dog owners don't believe they are guilty, they have a chance to present their case. If found guilty, a hearings officer assesses a fine at that point.

If the barking problem is not resolved with mediation, a hearings officer can issue demands, including debarking the dog, adding a sound-barrier fence or removing the animal from the property.

"The goal is to resolve the problem at the first level," Macuk said.

You can reach the Animal Care and Control office at 541-774-6655 or find more details on the county's website at

Send questions to "Since You Asked," Mail Tribune Newsroom, P.O. Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501; by fax to 541-776-4376; or by e-mail to We're sorry, but the volume of questions received prevents us from answering all of them.

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