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From minutes at a county council meeting in Kauai, Hawaii, in 2015. Residents gave public testimony regarding the repeal of an ordinance that imposed fines on the owners of barking dogs. The ordinance was reinstated earlier this year.

council chair mel rapozo: I know this will be an emotional issue for some of you. I am going to ask that you direct no personal attacks on council members.

douglas henry: Several years ago, I was the victim of a man with five barking dogs. He said, “Dogs bark. That is their nature.” We talked about bark collars, but he refused because it was “inhumane.” The neighbors called the police. They said, “We do not respond to barking dogs.” We called the Humane Society and they said, “We do not respond to barking dogs.” We had no recourse. It would be the little bitty one that any noise anywhere would set off. Then the other ones would orchestrate right in. I have a bed-and-breakfast and [guests] would come in at 10 p.m. and then all the dogs would be barking. [Guests] get up at 6 a.m. to tour the island and the dogs would be barking.

matthew bernabe: I train my dogs to bark. I have four motorbikes, trucks, and all kinds of fishing poles. My dogs have saved equipment from being robbed. The thought of having one of these people move in that does not like dogs?.?.?. To me, I am hearing, “I have a bed-and-breakfast.” That dog is being provoked. If anything, that should have gone down as a bed-and-breakfast nuisance.

anne punohu: I am a really grumpy person. I do not like a lot of noise and it irritates me and I snap. I do not like the boom-chucks. I think they are worse than any dogs barking. I like dogs barking.

joe rosa: You have a dog for it to bark. I learned things from the K-9 Corps when I was in the Korean War. You have to know the tone of the bark. There is a bark for when they want water or want to be fed or if there is a foe. Another thing, the Humane Society gives you free neuter or spay. Why do they not give out earplugs? People tell me about a barking dog and most of the time, if they look, it is a cat. 

forrest callahan: If you do not like the way it sounds, stop listening. We all hear dogs barking, but when you start listening to it, of course it is going to be a problem. If you cannot sleep then maybe you are not working enough or not tired enough. 

calen rita: The neighbor said one of our dogs ate her cat. We said, “How do you know?” She said she saw the dog eat her cat. A couple of weeks later, they found her cat. If my neighbor’s cat can roam in my yard and my dog wants to bark at it, I watch and let it bark. I call the rest of the dogs and let them bark. The cat is trespassing. 

robert cremer jr.: When I went to Hawaii Island the first couple of times, I could not stand coqui frogs. You are worried about a dog, but wait until the coqui frogs get established here.

bernabe: Frogs love to eat dog food—they lick it. Kids like to play with their skateboards and my dogs bark at that. The other day, there was a guy with a broken leg walking his dog and it took him forever to get from one point around the corner to the other point. I have caught my dog literally fighting a plastic bag in the wind. 

annette oda: Barking dogs? Is that the priority of the county council? Do people not count? If you have so much money, spend it on the homeless. This is sickening. I never voted for you because of dogs or cats. This is nonsense.

council member ross kagawa: I have received a lot of hate mail over this. In the future, just speak on whether you are for or against. Nothing is personal. I grew up with a dad that was a very light sleeper and because of that we did not have dogs. He would turn on the air conditioner even when it was cold because he would rather hear humming than the dogs barking outside. This is the United States of America and we need to think of both sides, not only accusers. This is not a communist country. Wake up, seriously.

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July 2017

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