Feud over noise has some Washougal folks barking mad

Feud over noise has some Washougal folks barking mad

WASHOUGAL, Wash. – There's a dog fight going on in this Clark County town.

The issue is over the noise dogs make – barking.

It started last summer when a new company moved in next to the West Columbia Gorge Humane Society.

There have been efforts to quiet the barks by the humane society by giving the dogs toys to keep them engaged.
There have also been efforts on the other side of the fence. But the city made Northwest Underwater Construction owner, Jesse Hutton, take down an air horn near the fence that he used in retaliation for the noisy kennel.

But lately he's been sitting outside the shelter videotaping shelter noise and workers, making volunteers nervous enough they don't want to volunteer anymore.

"(There have been) altercations or exchange of words with volunteers, asking them to shut our dogs up – yelling and banging at the fence because dogs were barking. We've experienced a number of different things," said shelter executive director Tamara Scharfenkamp.

From his property or from a public road what Hutton is doing is legal.

And so is what Jean Dougherty is doing. She's protesting Hutton's complaining by doing some complaining of her own.

"There's lots of sound proofing windows and doors that he could put in his office," she said. "He could do something. He's just not being a nice person."

The humane society did its own test to see how loud the dogs can be. It came out to about 70 decibels, 10 decibels lower than a tractor-trailer driving by.

And there are plenty more trucks around the area than dogs.

Hutton was not available for an interview. KATU News was told he's working out of state.

The city put up a sound-dampening fence around the kennels. Hutton told KATU's news partners at The Columbian it helped for a while but then seemed to give shelter employees license to leave the dogs together to bark all day.

We first learned about this story through a news tip. If you have a story for us, email us at newstips@katu.com.