PUNTA GORDA, Fla. - Loud barking dogs all day... people who live near a dog park in Punta Gorda say they can't take it anymore. They're hounding City Council to do something about it.
The barking wasn't always an issue. When the Henry Street Dog Park was built several years ago, there was a special fence that deflected the noise. But after Hurricane Charley destroyed it, that barrier was never rebuilt.
JoJo Johns brings his dog Elvis to the Henry Street Dog Park every day.
"We have a small community that are pretty much like family," Johns said. "We see each other ever day. It's almost like "'Cheers' in the bar situation. Instead, we use the dog park."
But the barking that goes along with it has some nearby homeowners hot under the collar. "Sometimes, it's 'yip yip yip' and sometimes it's very low, you know? You just hear them," homeowner Carol Perry said.
They say the barking travels so far, some don't even want to go outside. "Barking is the way dogs talk," dog owner Myron Schoen said. "They can't write notes to each other and they cant do sign language so they are going to have to bark here or there to say something
The City Council has 3 options: move it, get rid of it, or restore the park to its pre-Hurricane Charley state with a noise deflecting fence that was never rebuilt. "I still haven't gotten a fence and landscaping which is all we want, no more, no less," homeowner Richard Wolf said.
Dog owner William Stringer agreed with Wolf saying, "I didn't know you didn't do what you were supposed to do. And most people in this room didn't know that."
It was a compromise both sides could agree on. The Council approved spending $15,000 to restore the noise barrier. Still, some are skeptical.
"That may make it look better but I don't think it's going to cut down the noise a lot," Perry said.
In the meantime, a vinyl fence has been installed to separate the small dog and large dog areas. Some neighbors say that has helped cut down the noise slightly.