Residents of Mahoning Manor Estates appeared at Monday's monthly supervisor's meeting to complain about a neighbor's barking dogs and ask for some guidance with regard to what police need to witness in order to act upon the nuisance.
The neighbor in question has anywhere from 10 to 14 dogs on the property at any given time. During the discussion, supervisors confirmed they would be participating in the county K-9 program and were going to pay the fee for the services.
"I cannot take my dog outside for his walk at 5:30 a.m. when we get up because the dogs bark continually as soon as they see us. They start and go continually and there is at least ten dogs," said resident Dennis Daubenspeck who continued, "I have to take my dog out along the side of my house and even then they start barking."
Daubenspeck said the dogs bark continuously for long periods of time but by the time the police arrive the owners move the dogs inside so they never hear the barking. He told supervisors it was his understanding from the police that the officer would need to hear the barking in order to cite the neighbor.
Supervisor Frank Ruch checked the township code and responded to Daubenspeck's comment about what the police need to hear or see by telling him that the code says that Daubenspeck can request the police give a warning to the dogs' owner. He responded to Ruch saying the police told him it would need to go to court to be resolved. Ruch asked Solicitor Tom Nanovic to confirm his interpretation of the ordinance which he did.
Daubenspeck also questioned the number of licensed dogs on the premises and who is authorized to check them. Chairperson John Wieczorek said he would check into who is authorized to check the licenses and during the discussion revealed the township had settled its disagreement with the county and would be paying the K-9 assessment.
Last month supervisors questioned the services they received for the assessment and asked the county to come to a meeting and explain what services were secured by the levy. The county did not directly respond by attending a supervisor's meeting but called their decision into question at a county meeting resulting in the township responding at their last meeting. Wieczorek has since spoken with Commissioners Bill O'Gurek and Tom Gerhard to resolve the issue and reinstate the service with the county.
Daubenspeck also complained about the foul odor from the failure of the owner to clean up dog feces on the property. "He cleans it twice a year once with his lawnmower and once with a leaf blower and when he stirs up the ground the smell is bad."
He said the odor was reported to police as well.
Wieczorek said he would discuss the issue with the police.
Another resident Kim Snyder asked if the supervisors could look into imposing a limit on the number of dogs that could be housed on the property. She told supervisors the Corgis that have been the nuisance regularly have litters of puppies that are on the property as well at different times so it is difficult to tell how many dogs are there at any given time.
Supervisors are checking into the situation.