Adams County to allow neighbors to report nuisance dogs by shooting video

Posted at 3:59 PM, Oct 15, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-15 20:14:37-04

ADAMS COUNTY, Colo. -- If you've lived in your home long enough, chances are you've had to deal with a dog that won't stop barking next door. Maybe it's your dog that has been a problem in the past.

Adams County is set to change the wording of an ordinance pertaining to chronically disruptive dogs in its neighborhoods.

"We're allowing any resident to capture cell phone video of a nuisance dog that's next door," said Adams County spokesman Jim Siedlecki. "The dog might be barking for 15 to 20 minutes, but when an animal management officer shows up the dog's quiet."

That's where Siedlecki says the power of the cell phone video comes in.

"Everyone has a cell phone these days, and that saturation has made everyone a reporter," said Siedlecki. "If it's time stamped, which all our phones do automatically, they can use that as one piece of evidence to decide whether or not there is actually a code enforcement issue."
Denver7 talked with Adams County neighbors about the ordinance. Maria Lockwood owns two dogs. She understands the idea of hard evidence, but she's not sure this is the right way.
"I just don't like the idea of somebody snooping," she said.
Denver7 brought up the privacy issue with Siedlecki. She says the county certainly doesn't want anyone trespassing to get the video they want.
"If you're on your property and you shoot video over your fence, you're not breaking any laws, and you're actually helping us develop a case," he said.
Rick Lockwood isn't sure a piece of video will be very reliable.
"I could get any dog in Adams County to bark if I walked up with my cell phone with a camera," he said.
Dog owners will first get a warning if someone complains about their dog. A fine could be issued the second time. If the problem still isn't resolved the case could go before a judge.
Siedlecki says other code language has also been refined. 
Adams County residents still have time to weigh in. The ordinance will go through a second reading in November. Public comment will be allowed before the ordinance goes to a vote. Siedlecki says the revamped ordinance would become consistent with other jurisdictions across Colorado if it was officially changed.


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