A barking dog issue becomes a soapbox for intolerance

Floyd County’s battle of the barking dog ended quietly last week when the Board of Supervisors ratified their decision last month to scrap an unenforceable — and some believe unnecessary — noise ordinance.

Three out of the five supervisors on the board say they see no need for a new noise ordinance so the issue should be dead.

But it may not be.

The noise that came out of a short — but vocal — public hearing suggests the fight is just beginning.

John and Alice Moyer, the Burks Fork couple who started the debate three months ago because they said a neighbor’s barking dog kept them awake at night have said they might seek legal remedies or take the law into their own hands.

Depending on which actions — if any — they choose to take, the Moyers could end up in civil or criminal court.

The issue stems over whether or not the county should force a resident to muzzle a barking dog because the animal’s barking bothers others who live nearby.

Those who see no need for a noise organize argue that barking dogs…or mooing cows…or other noises are part of living in the country and getting the law involved violates the county’s traditional “live and let live” attitude.

At the moment — legally at least — the issue is moot. Floyd no longer has a noise ordinance nor is it likely to have a new one in the near future.

But another issue — one that suggests bigotry — surfaced during the public hearing as three of the six residents who spoke complained not about barking dogs but about Floyd’s growing Mexican population.

Phyllis Beall, a senior citizen and activist, told the board that dogs aren’t the problems…drunk Mexicans are.

Beall, who like many Floyd Countians, has a police scanner in her home, says she often hears deputies summoned to Gray’s Trailer Park — which rents trailers to several Mexican families — because “some Mexican ran out of beer and is causing a ruckus.”

Beall was joined by a father and daugher — Jim and Kristen Brenner — who complained about noise from radios of trailers inhabited by Mexicans and even noise from the Mexican restaurant at Winter Sun. Kristen also complained about noise from Contra Dancers — an activity more aligned with Floyd’s alternative lifestylers than Mexicans.

The comments suggest the problem is not an intolerance for noise, but instead one for certain ethic groups and others with lifestyles different from our own.

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5 thoughts on “A barking dog issue becomes a soapbox for intolerance”

  1. Ugh. this makes me madder than a barking dog! The Mexicans part. I don’t know about Grey’s Trailor Park, I’m sure they do make a ruckus….but so do alot of other ethnic groups that get drunk and raise hell in Floyd County. As far as El Charro being noisy, bull. I work in that building and they are good, considerate people and not unnecessarily loud. This is not fair and is not based on facts. I know of one young Mexican woman who cried when she read the report in the floyd Press last week about Phillis Beal’s comment. Regarding Kristen Brenner’s comment about the Contra Dance being loud, that makes me laugh. They are one of the more quiet groups who have music and dancing in the Sun Music Hall. I know this because I have worked at least 15 of the Contra dances as the Hall manager!

    Let’s stop pointing fingers at people who are different than we are. Stop targeting whole ethnic or racial groups of people and let’s keep this on an individual bases. As far as barking dogs go, I have found that many in Floyd County are NOT responsible dog owners, could care less about their neighbors and probably feel a good dog is a barking dog. I have had to deal with a neighbor who lets his dogs come to my house any time of the day or night, which made MY dog bark and whine for hours. He was not helpful. I empathize with the Moyers.

  2. LIve and let live is a great concept if neighbors can solve problems without intervention. Apparently that hasn’t worked and it’s sad that the complainers are left to voicing alternatives that fit into the category of live and let live, unless we don’t get mediation.

    I don’t think a barking dog is equal to a bull excited about cows in heat. It seems constant barking should annoy the owners as well as anyone else. Are they home? It’s this whacky 24/7 world. Someone is trying to sleep all hours of the day while others are trying to make a living. The dog has problems and needs a dog whisperer, or a muzzle, no big deal unless someone has a better idea.

    I’ve visited places where helicopoters and spotlights, gunshots and car alarms were normal background noise. I would move. A dog that barks constantly is as useless as a fire alarm stuck on clang. There is a solution that doesn’t require a new law.

    Work it out people, grow up.

    The other inciteful portion is just bait. If the Mexicans are the noisemakers, it’s just a fact and identifier of common offenders. It wouldn’t be hateful if it was one armed, no legged, lesbians that were causing problems.

  3. This Board is in the dark ages, we need a well written and forceable noise ordinance,saying it can’t be enforced then buy a DB meter they sure don’t cost that much.
    So this board says it’s OK for me to put HUGE speakers out on the back Patio and blast them all night, and that is OK , or worse yet listen to a neighbors barking dog all night?
    maybe we made a huge mistake in who we voted into office?
    Some people need their sleep like Pilots and Truck drivers to do their job safely.
    This is Floyd but we need laws to protect people from knuckle heads.

  4. I still say the whole noise ordinance is a very slippery slope. It will be very hard to write a new law that would both protect normal pet owners and farmers and still be enforceable against the problems. I went to the public hearing because of my concern that the traditional Floyd way of life may be inadvertently impacted by a new noise ordnance. I have to say, I was shocked at the words from some of those who used the meeting as a way to spread their hate.

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