New amendment to “nuisance animal” ordinance proposed to Staunton City Council

Published: Jun. 9, 2023 at 5:22 PM EDT
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STAUNTON, Va. (WHSV) - A new amendment to the nuisance animal ordinance outlines specific details to the criminal charge.

Staunton Animal Control and City Attorney Josh Blair partner to revise Staunton city code 6.10.240 Nuisance animals.

The new code will outline a consistent 15 minutes period of noise making to be considered a nuisance animal:

6.10.290 Prolonged Barking, Meowing, Noise. (1) No person shall own or maintain an animal that howls, barks, whines, meows, squawks, or makes other such noises which are plainly audible across a property boundary or through partitions common to two (2) residences within a building and take place continuously for a period of at least fifteen (15) consecutive minutes.

(2) Any citizen having sufficient evidence of violation of one or more of the prohibitions set out in the section above may present such evidence and make affidavit to the City of Staunton Magistrate and request issuance of a summons or warrant based thereon. Corroboration of the alleged violation by the Staunton Police Department or the animal control officers shall not be necessary in order for a citizen to pursue a summons or warrant against another person for such violation.

Blair said the change will clear confusion and ensure the ordinance complies with the Virginia state constitution as well as the United States constitution.

“Right now it’s a very subjective wording of the ordinance, but this should be much more objective for both complainants and owners of the dog on what is and is not prohibited,” Blair said.

Blair said the amendment will be voted on at the end of July.