Noisy Dogs on Same Street Have Neighbors Barking Mad

By James Fanelli on September 14, 2012 6:48am 

MARINE PARK — It's a ruff block to live on.

Two Brooklyn pooches who are next-door neighbors have been labeled some of the loudest in the city.

Maxwell, a 9-year-old German Shepherd, and Buddy, a 5-year-old Beauceron, spend their days in adjacent backyards and have been known to bark in stereo until residents on their tree-lined Marine Park street go bonkers.

When the noise complaints piled up, the city gave them a slap on the paw. It fined their owners $70 each in February.

"They got bad raps," Ann Winters, Buddy's owner, said last week.

Winters, 61, who adopted Buddy from a shelter, downplayed the noise and said both dogs were simply doing what they're trained to do.

"Yes, they are protective, but a dog is supposed to protect its master," she said. "When someone invades their space, they are gonna bark."

The city rarely gives out dog noise violations. Between July 1, 2011, and June 30, it received 6,586 complaints over excessive barking.

During that time, inspectors fined only 14 dog owners, including Winters and Maxwell's master, Joseph Butrico, city records showed. Six went to households in Brooklyn, four to owners in Queens, two in Manhattan and one each on Staten Island and The Bronx.

"I think it's ridiculous," Butrico said last week about his dog's summons, which he has since paid. "We live in New York. There are a lot of things ridiculous here. They have tickets for everything. They make it up as they go along."

Since 2005 the city received nine complaints about Maxwell. Buddy has racked up 10 complaints since 2008.

Butrico and Winters each received warning letters, but a Department of Environmental Protection inspector finally fined both of them on Feb. 1, according to city records.

Butrico described Maxwell as a "good watchdog" who is "actually pretty quiet."

"My dog's not going to bark," he said. "He'll kick your a--."

Indeed, Maxwell didn't make a peep last week when a reporter visited his home. Butrico, who owns the All-Star Locksmith & Hardware store in Park Slope, blamed trespassers — and a barking Buddy — for stirring up Max.

"He doesn't bark unless he sees another dog or he sees someone," Butrico said.

Under city rules, owners risk a fine if their pet makes unreasonable noise for longer than 10 minutes between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m. The time limit drops to 5 minutes between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m.

After receiving multiple complaints, a DEP inspector will visit the home and time the dog's barking.

Before issuing a ticket, the city will send warning letters and offer instructions on how to correct the problem. But if the canine can't quit clamoring, the inspector will give a summons, which ranges from $70 to $525.

Winters, who works for a fencing company, said she said the ticket because she would have lost a day's pay fighting it in court.

She described Buddy and Maxwell as pals who "see each other through a part of the fence, and they kiss each other."

Her dog reacts to people who wander on her property or rummage through her recyclables, Winters said.

The DEP inspector got Buddy barking because she stepped onto the property, Winters said. Maxwell was busted because he chimed in.

"She stood right there and invaded their space," Winters said of the inspector.

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