Owners of Barking Dogs Ordered to Pay $238,900
It's not uncommon to have those moments where you hear your neighbors dog barking at what seems to be nothing. When the barking continues and becomes excessive it can mean trouble, in the State of Oregon these Owners of Barking Dogs were ordered to pay a whopping $238,900
Shehn Updegraff and Karen Szewc were ordered to pay their next door neighbors the hefty sum of $238,900 following several years of nuisance barking by their dogs. The action began when Dale and Debra Krein initiated a law suit in Jackson County Circuit Court for what they described as "ceaseless barking" by the canine offenders. The Kreins were not the only law suit that was filed as a result of the excessive barking, two other neighbours felt justified to begin court action as well. In the end, all but the Krein's lawsuit was dismissed.
The jury came to a decision on April 2, 2015, awarding the Kreins $238,900 in damages for what was described as more than a ten years of having to listen to the pooches parade around barking constantly. During the same time frame the Kreins had attempted to have the courts impose an injunction preventing Updegraff and Szewc from having any dogs on their land, this request was denied.
Updegraff and Szewc responded by saying their Tibetan Mastiffs were a necessary tool to ensure the safety of their livestock when predators would be on the prowl. However, the courts identified that the Tibetan Mastiffs were not an appropriate breed for this job. When the case concluded, Updegraff and Szewc were faced with the difficult decision to have the dogs debarked or to replace them with a friendly breed within 60 days. As a pet owner debarking can be a difficult decision on many levels, not the least of which is the fact that with the reduced tissue in the vocal chords sometimes the leftover noise is quite sad in tone.
As breeders of Tibetan Mastiffs Updegraff and Szewc requested that the courts allow them to keep some of the dogs with their bark intact, this request was denied. It's certainly a lesson for us all, there is a time and place for a barking dog and it's unfair for our canine companions to be a hindrance to somebody else's peace and solitude in their home. Most people feel innately affectionate towards animals and in fact often, dogs really are mans best friend. This case albeit the extreme edge of what a nuisance dog can cost an owner, does showcase the need for clear city or state legislated guidelines. This is true particularly in residential settings, and breeders need to be aware, prior to beginning their business.
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