County to increase time for decisions regarding noisy animals

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At its June 7 meeting, the Riverside County Board of Supervisors was to consider an amendment to the current ordinance regarding noisy animals.

Ordinance 878 addresses disturbances, which may be caused “by excessive, unrelenting or habitual noise of any animal” and are “disruptive of the public’s peace and tranquility, and represents an unwanted invasion of privacy of the residents of the unincorporated areas of the County of Riverside.”

The ordinance effectively deems these animals a “public nuisance” and authorizes an investigation of noisy animal complaints. Procedures for notifying the pet’s owner are part of the investigation and of arranging an administrative hearing.

Currently, Ordinance 878 requires the “the administrative hearing officer to notify the pet owner of the  decision within three business days of the hearing.”

However, Ordinance 630, which regulates dogs and cats for suppression of rabies and Ordinance 771, which controls potentially dangerous animals, allows 10 business days for consideration of evidence and drafting the administrative abatement order.

The amendment to Ordinance 878 will allow for a similar and consistent 10-day period. According to Robert Miller, director of the county’s Animal Services Department, “The amendment to Ordinance 878 will benefit the public by providing additional time for thoughtful consideration of the evidence, perfecting notice to the pet owner and reducing confusion about the procedure following a Department of Animal Service’s administrative hearing … Unfortunately, increasing the time period from three to 10 days extends the period of uncertainty for the pet owners, but this concern is overcome by the benefits that the amendment will provide.”

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