Town proposes fines for excessive noise from dogs

Local

Two separate proposed town ordinance amendments regarding noise were presented to Niskayuna residents on Tuesday, but only one of them is causing an uproar.

It was a packed house at the Niskayuna Town Hall with residents lined up all the way to the front door. Most were in opposition of the proposed new law that they think would affect a local animal hospital.

“This has been an odyssey for me trying to get this animal hospital up to what I think, in my mind, and what I think, in my heart it needs to be,” Aqueduct Animal Hospital owner Matthew Pike said. “Every time I’ve gone to the board to try and fix what’s going on, I’m met with this resistance.”

Pike has owned the Aqueduct Animal Hospital for over 10 years. The hospital has been in Schenectady County for over 60 years. Aside from regular business hours, the hospital runs a 24-hour boarding facility.

“Over the past year and a half, we’ve had approximately 100 complaints that has been noise related,” Town Board member John Della Ratta said. “Most of those have been from barking dogs.”

The proposed ordinance states that homeowners should not let their dogs bark, howl, or make any noise between the hours of 11 p.m. and 7 a.m.

While town leaders said the ordinance does not pertain to the animal hospital specifically, Pike believes the change is targeted specifically at him.

“Apparently animals are barking quite a bit at all hours of the day. Did you say that, sir? Yes, okay, so how is this not about me, sir?” he questioned.

“Dog ordinance barking should not apply to an animal hospital,” resident Linda Rizzo said. “You cannot stop a canine from barking.”

Nothing was voted on. Della Ratta said the board will take everyone’s opinion into consideration and possibly vote at the October board meeting.

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