Rural Port residents say manâs 14 pets have made life in neighborhood intolerable
A pack of dogs that bark day and night and run through their neighborhood on Highway KK is making life intolerable, residents told the Port Washington Town Board Monday.
âWe canât enjoy our property because of these animals,â said Bill Worth, 3434 Hwy. KK. âIâm fed up.â
Worth said his neighbor Rick Goebel has about 14 dogs but doesnât control them when he lets them out. They roam the neighborhood, tearing up lawns. They bark constantly, he said, and frighten children in the area.
Neighbors have called the Ozaukee County Sheriffâs Department to complain about the dogs, he said, but usually the animals are quiet by the time deputies arrive.
Dan Scheftgen, 3446 Hwy. KK, provided photos of the some of dogs running through a neighborâs property, saying they jump fences.
âIâve got 3-1/2 acres. I canât even let my dog go out,â he said, noting heâs fearful Goebelâs animals will chase his. âHis dogs run my property. Itâs not fair.
âWe moved out here nine years ago for a reason, for peace and quiet. We feel like weâre being held hostage.
âWe as a neighborhood would like to have a nice summer for once.â
His wife Diane concurred, telling the board the dogs bark so much that itâs difficult even to sleep.
âWe canât sleep without a fan in the room because theyâre barking all night,â she said.
Neighborhood children are afraid of the animals, Worth said.
Jeff Unger, 3480 Hwy. KK, said he wonât allow his 3-year-old daughter to play outside alone.
âI donât feel safe having my daughter in my own back yard,â he said. âIf something doesnât change, Iâm going to have to sell my house and move.â
The neighbors said they have tried to talk to Goebel to no avail.
âYou just donât get anywhere,â Scheftgen said.
Goebel could not be reached for comment.
This isnât the first time the Town Board has fielded complaints about Goebel and his dogs.
In a Sept. 19, 2012, letter to Goebel, Town Attorney Steve Cain informed him that complaints about the dogs âare now reaching nuisance level. The town is considering its legal options to seek an injunction, removal of your dogs and other legal remedies to put an end to this nuisance situation.â
The letter states that the Sheriffâs Department provided reports going back to 2003 that detail âregular and ongoing dog-related complaints.â
âPlease treat this letter as the townâs final request that you put an end to the excessive dog barking, dogs at large and other dog related nuisances,â the letter states.
The letter states that the Sheriffâs Department indicated there were 15 dogs at the home at the time, and that Goebel had licensed 10 dogs in 2010 and 2011 but none were licensed at the time.
Immediately after the letter was sent, Goebel applied for and received licenses for the dogs, officials said.
Supr. Mike Didier said the Sheriffâs Department has cited Goebel in the past, but he has pleaded not guilty and, when no one who complained about the dogs showed up at pre-trial hearings, the judge dismissed the tickets.
Itâs not just the dogs, Worth said, noting their owner has a number of abandoned vehicles in his yard as well â including one thatâs been there since Worth built his house in 1997.
âNot only is it an eyesore, itâs bringing down property values,â he said. âThe town has ordinances against these things, and I would like to see them enforced.â
Worth told the board he would like to see the number of dogs that can be owned by a property owner limited to three.
The town does not limit the number of dogs that a person can own, something Supr. Jim Rychtik said the board should consider.
âIf thereâs no limit, how do you define a kennel and when someoneâs keeping dogs as a business?â he asked.
Town Board members were sympathetic to the neighborsâ plight, and said they would direct Cain to take further action.
Town Chairman Jim Melichar said he would go to talk to Goebel about the situation.
âWe want to address the nuisance,â he said. âThis is not going to continue.â