Excessive Barking at a Dog Park Has Divided a Maryland Town

"Around dinner time, I’d like to be able to sit on my deck and maybe read a book"

Excessive Barking at a Dog Park Has Divided a Maryland Town
Berkay Gumustekin/Unsplash
By Bonnie Stiernberg / August 28, 2019 11:26 am

Like horns honking on a crowded city street or a rooster crowing on a farm, the sound of canines barking at a dog park may feel unavoidable to some. But that hasn’t stopped residents of one of Maryland’s wealthiest suburbs from doing everything they can to put a stop to the noise at the Chevy Chase Village dog park.

As the Washington Post reports, residents of the village have been battling over the barks for nearly a year. Joanie Edwards, who has been calling the police on an almost daily basis to report the noise coming from the park, testified at a public hearing in May. “Around dinner time, I’d like to be able to sit on my deck and maybe read a book and chat with a friend or have a glass of wine, and the dogs are barking,” she said.

Residents of the neighborhood, where the average household income is $460,000, have expressed frustration with people who don’t live in the area bringing their dogs to the park, but legally the space must remain open to the public. As a compromise to attempt to reduce the barking, the village has removed the dog park from its website and pushed back its opening time from 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. They also spent $1,300 on a researcher to observe the behavior of the pets and their owners but — shockingly — she was unable to come up with a way to prevent dogs from barking.

Those who are fed up with the noise say the dog park should be converted back to a regular park, while those who support their furry friends have created a Save The Chevy Chase Dog Park group on Facebook. Another public hearing about the issue is scheduled for Sept. 9.

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