Rockford City Council Passes Amended Dog Barking Law

By WTVO WQRF Newsroom

Published 07/16 2014 09:27PM

Updated 08/05 2014 12:05PM

UPDATE (8/5/14): Aldermen passed an amended version of the city's dog barking law.  Owners of guard dogs are now subject to prosecution if the dogs are caught on camera barking for more than 10 minutes and if a complaint is filed by at least two residents.  Police and animal control can also file a complaint.  The new law takes effect immediately.

ROCKFORD - Karolyn Downey says she has heard non stop barking for the past 412 days. “Everyday, we have not had one day when the dogs have not been outside barking” Said Downey. According to Downey, the barking comes from four German Shepherds that patrol MPH Automotive in downtown Rockford.

She has been posting signs all around her home, and has rallied dozens of neighbors to sign these petitions to get the City of Rockford to take action. “Memorial Day of 2013, it started. It has not stopped since.” Said a frustrated Downey.

City code currently prohibits dogs from barking and howling excessively, but the code does not include guard dogs. Now the council has made moves to add guard dogs into a new barking ordinance, but it has not yet been voted on. “If they are leaving their dog outside, and letting it bark constantly that is a nuisance to neighbors” said Alderman John Beck

MPH Automotives owner Tim Barth says his highly trained dogs only bark when a person comes on his property, and says that the dogs have already stopped one robbery from taking place on his property. “June 8, 2014 we had someone try to steal a car off of the lot, and the only reason we were alerted was because of the dogs” said Barth

This is a video that shows his guard dogs training inside of the MPH Automotive shop practicing for an intruder. With millions of dollars in collectible cars inside, Barth says he would not have a business on the West side without them.  “They are not going anywhere, we need them for protection.” Said Barth

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