NISKAYUNA, N.Y. (WTEN) – Have you ever been enjoying a relaxing day but the neighbor’s dog just won’t stop barking? One town in Albany County is trying to fix that problem, but an animal hospital there says it’s being unfairly targeted.Â
A newly proposed townÂ ordinance is causingÂ a lot of noise between neighbors and a nearby animal hospital.
Matt Pike is the owner of Aqueduct Animal Hospital in Niskayuna and says he was shocked to find out what was happening from a customer.Â
“What town board meeting? I had no idea. They said, well, there was an article about the dog noise,â Pike said.
The practice provides veterinary care and also boarding and daycare for pets.
Pike says he did have complaints a few years ago about dog barking but thought the issue was settled after a recent meeting with the town supervisor.Â
“She met with me and one of the neighbors and we had a conversation that I thought went really well.”
He says, back in May, he even put new boarding policies in place to cut down on the noise.Â
“Things like one-on-one playtime.Â They included certain toys and things that provided mental stimulation for the dogs.”
John Della Ratta is a town board member and sponsor of the ordinance change.Â
“We’ve had over 100Â complaints over the last year and a half to two years from all corners of the town,â Della Ratta said.
He says the proposal has nothing to do with the animal hospital.Â
“None of the neighborsÂ right behind the veterinarian hospital are calling the police, so we don’t really have that much of a concern there.”
He says the Aqueduct Animal Hospital is a staple of the community, and he wouldn’t want to negatively impact the business.Â
âI don’t see why there would be any violations of them per day for any future ordinance. We certainly want him to continue to be there.”
Pike admits keeping the dogs quiet isn’t an easy task.
“It is tough. It is tough to keep dogs quiet,â he said.
Pike says the proposed ordinance is vague and fines won’t fix the problem.Â
“A dog is not going to stop barking because the Niskayuna Police come by and hand them a fine.”
He says educating dog owners is the real key here, something Della Ratta says they’d be open to discussing at Tuesday’s town meeting.Â
“I think there’s a lot of things you can do to actively introduceÂ that. Hopefully, that’s actively what would control that. Hopefully, that’s what happens instead of the town coming in and imposing fines.”
Nothing was voted on at the Tuesday town board meeting.Â Della Ratta said the board will take everyoneâs opinion into consideration and possibly vote at the October board meeting.Â