HALIFAX– At the continuation of a dog hearing on Tuesday, July 19, Jennifer Choate, proprietor of Tarawood Kennels, was ordered by selectmen to hire a sound engineer in order to keep her kennel license.
Neighbors, at a hearing that began last week but which Choate could not attend, complained of near constant barking that could be heard at all hours.
Choate says the dogs are indoors from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., in an insulated barn– although the roof is not insulated.
The public did not testify as much as public officials debated Choate.
Selectman Kim Roy, who has been doing her own research on the barking by showing up at random times throughout the day and night, along with a dozen or so neighbors, say that there is a barking problem. Neighbors say that they have put up with it for years.
Roy and Choate disagreed on whether there actually was a problem, with Choate stating that Roy was causing the dogs to “alert” with her very presence at odd hours, such as 4:51 a.m. as in one of her recordings. In that recording, one could argue that morning birds were louder than the barking, although barking could be heard.
“I wanted to disprove the barking, I really did,” said Roy. Choate “disagreed” with a lot that the board and her neighbors had to say.
Selectman Chairman Troy Garron relied heavily on the expertise of the Animal Control Officer Noreen Callahan, but Callahan stated that her concern was primarily for the animals’ safety, which was not the issue at hand.
While the other board members seemed as if they wanted to “prescribe” some solution swiftly, Selectman Tom Millias said he wanted to get away from prescribing a solution for a person’s business, because if it fails, “we will all be back in the same position again.”
The board came to a somewhat odd solution, which was to order Choate to hire a professional sound engineer to come up with or help Choate to come up with a plan to mitigate barking noise.
She will report back to selectmen in one week on her progress.