n his 13 years as mayor of Manville, Angelo Corradino said he has not dealt with an issue that has riled up more residents than the debate over barking dogs. That's why the council voted last night to table amendments to the borough's dog ordinance that would have imposed time restrictions on barking.

"I've gotten more calls about the dog ordinance than all those other things put together," said Corradino, mentioning the three floods, the Rustic Mall and Superfund cleanup as examples of issues that have plagued the borough. "We represent the people and the majority of the people have spoken."

Borough officials were considering imposing a five-minute limit on continuous dog barking and a 30-minute limit on intermittent barking with dog owners paying a minimum fine of $50 for violations.

"You can't speak for more than five minutes at these meetings," said Scott St. Angel, who pursued the dog barking restriction with borough officials for about a year. "Why do dogs in this town have more rights than people? ... I think it's ridiculous that they will throw away a full year of investigation and effort."

The amendments were in response to complaints from St. Angel, who lives on Knopf Street, that the incessant barking from his neighbors' dogs was affecting the quality of life for him and his family.

His neighbors, Margaret and John Strollo, own what many estimate to be more than a dozen Pomeranians that St. Angel said bark at all hours of the day. While the existing noise-control ordinance states no person may own any animal that frequently makes noise "across a residential real property boundary," St. Angel and borough officials have said it is too vague to enforce.

"They don't have an enforceable law," said St. Angel. "That's what this whole thing was about. I can't believe it took a year for them to add two lines to an ordinance and now they take it away."

Anne Genega, who also lives next door to the Strollos, said the dogs don't bother her.

"They stop barking after a minute or two," said Genega, who owns a cat. "If my cat meows for five minutes, would I get a summons?"

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