Village Board Tells Couple to Quiet Dogs or Risk Losing Some of Them

The Huttons have seven dachshunds, and their neighbors say the pups bark too much. The Huttons have two months to find a solution that works or the village may revoke their pet fancier license and limit the number of pets they can have to three.

Mark and Diana Hutton love their dogs as they do any other member of their family and admit their pack of seven dachshunds can get a little rowdy. Their neighbors think rowdy has morphed into annoying, perhaps even dangerous, and are asking village trustees to not renew the Huttons' pet fanciers license.

Denying the license could mean paring the Hutton pack down to three, but trustees voted unanimously to approve a two-month trial period without lee-way. A Pet Fanciers License is required to have more than three pets but no more than seven at a time.

At the heart of the matter is whether or not the Huttons are adhering to conditions first set forth in November 2010, and their neighbors' opinions carry some weight.

According to the executive summary from Clerk/Treasurer Veronica Rudychev, the village received complaints from David Labrie and Mark and Tina Russell in 2010 about barking dogs, biting dogs and dogs running loose. At the time, the Huttons were granted a provisional fanciers license but they had to meet some conditions: use shock or bark collars to curb the noise and install blinds on the windows of their closed-in back porch to reduce the chance the dogs would see something that would make them bark.

Diana Hutton said they do have the required collars and brought the two styles they use to the meeting. Both Huttons admitted they forgot about the blinds.

Because the 2010 license was provisional, the Huttons were supposed to come back before the Village Board in May 2011 to have the situation reviewed. Diana Hutton claims she called the village to find out about when they should expect to get on the meeting agenda but was told that with moving, village hall staff was too busy.

"I was told that if we hadn't heard anything, then everything was probably okay," she said.

The Huttons had six dogs and a cat at that time. Since then, the couple's son has moved home and he brought a dachshund puppy with him while the cat went to live with another family. Labrie and the Russells filed new letters with the village objecting to an extension of the fanciers license. Neither neighbor could attend the Village Board meeting so Rudychev read their letters into the record.

Matt and Tina Russell's letter outlined how the situation did seem to improve last summer, but when they wanted to be outside or have their windows open during the recent spate of warm weather, the dogs' barking made it impossible.

"The dogs seemed to be outside barking throughout the day. Any time we went into the backyard, the dogs were at the edge of the fence, barking at us," their letter stated. "lt was at this point that we knew this summer was not going to go well, and that we would need to once again pursue this issue."

Labrie, who was bitten by one of the dogs in 2010, didn't want to call police about barking dogs, but said if the pet fancier license is renewed, he will start making reports.

"If Mr. and Mrs. Hutton's Fanciers License is approved and dogs continue to bark we have no other option to protect our privacy and right to enjoy our property, and will forward civil matters and ordnance violations regarding their dogs to police each occurrence," he wrote. "This situation is now continuing into
a third summer and we feel Hutton’s are making no effort for resolution of this situation based on results of automatic review of their current provisional license that reflects disregard of license requirements issued by Mount Pleasant Board of Trustee’s."

Trustee Karen Albeck couldn't understand how the Huttons could allow another dog into their home given the precariousness of their situation.

"This is serious and 18 months is plenty of time to address this, but it's not really getting better," she said. "One solution is to not have so many dogs when you know this breed and the behaviors associated with it. How you can allow your son to bring in a new dog with this on-going issue doesn't make sense."

Village President Carolyn Milkie owns a dachshund and said it really comes down to who's the boss.

"These dogs need action, and their favorite toy is their voice, but you have to be firm and discipline them if they don't stop barking," she said. "When our dog barks too much, she has to go lay down in her kennel so she understands that she barked too much."

Mark Hutton said he knows he needs to be more firm.

"I'm terrible with discipline and know I should be better," he admitted.

Milkie suggested that the Huttons reach out to other dachshund owners for help, and they agreed they would do that.

In the end, trustees voted to approve a two-month extension, telling the Huttons to do whatever it takes to keep their dogs quiet. Trustee Gary Feest made the motion but said if the matter comes back before the board and conditions haven't been met or aren't improving, then the Huttons may have to get rid of some of their dogs.

Diana Hutton agreed the two months was fair and a good test period.

"This is good because the weather is getting warmer, and the dogs will be outside more," she said.

After the meeting, Diana Hutton said she's been in contact with a personal dog trainer who will come to their home to help her and Mark Hutton learn how to better control the dogs' barking. Diana Hutton also said she was looking for dachshund groups to get advice from other owners.

"I'm glad President Milkie suggested that because we wouldn't have thought about it," she said.

Terra Mata April 13, 2012 at 11:26 PM
its not absurd its called compromise, you obviously want to make no effort to make it work and my parents are the only ones who have to make any compromises, just admit it you wont be happy until the dogs are gone period.
D. O. Golf April 14, 2012 at 02:41 AM
We all know you very well now. Obviously your parents trained you as well as the dogs. Maybe your parents should have gotten a couple more bark collars, one for you. Finanaly caught on, your name is Jerry Springer?
D. O. Golf April 14, 2012 at 02:52 AM
We know who your are now. Maybe your parents should have trained you as well as they did the dogs. Whats up with your parents, did they forget to change the battery in your bark collar as well as the pests. Please, is your name really Terror or Jerry Springer :)
D. O. Golf April 14, 2012 at 04:13 AM
Your parents decided to use this anenue to shotgun their stand on their pets, but have decided to take the easy way out by not responding and letting you make their protest a show. A 10 second video of dogs by your parents for a Patch Article is nice when they set an event overseeing the seven dogs in a scripted environment. Based on your comments and lack of reponse by your parents, they cannot control you or the dogs. C'mon Hutton's, you started this for all to see so lets get your story to match Terrors or end it. Nough said.
D. O. Golf April 14, 2012 at 07:14 AM
It strongly appears your parents Diane and Mark Hutton started this community display via this social network to develop support for their seven dogs. Additionally, it's apparent Hutton's planned and orchastrated their display of love, affection and responsibilty for their seven dogs via video on this social network, which unfortunately included lies, exageration and intimidation by their daughter Terra and family friend/member Tim' Olmstead II. Hutton family, what is your next option toward your neighbors? You have no respect for your neighbors privacy. It is your property and with that comes ultimate responsibility for your dogs actions, regardless of any other excuses you will provide. Are you knowledgeable of this breeds temperament, very questionable? If so, you would have warned the neighbors not to be friendly to these dogs and would not have brought this breed to a residential neighborhood in the fist place. Accept responsibility for your ignorance regarding this breed, and your lack of planning and responsibility as a pet owner and neighbor to resolve this problem. Your attempts to blame all others has failed. Hope the breeder who commented above did not mislead you in obtaining these pets.
DJ April 14, 2012 at 07:44 AM
For the record, the woman who did the interview for the story on here took the video. Not the Huttons. A complete stranger to the dogs. Not scripted in anyway.
Tim Olmstead II April 14, 2012 at 07:48 AM
" which unfortunately included lies, exageration and intimidation by their daughter Terra and family friend/member Tim' Olmstead II"?????????? Nether my girlfriend or I have lied at all. Nor have we exaggerated either. And intimidation? Wow. We were both there last summer, were you? No, so you cannot say what is a lie or exaggeration now can you? Terra and I grew to love those dogs dearly, and we both will continue to support her parents. That's what family does. Now, the real issue to me here is not the dogs necessarily, but how things have been handled to begin with. Real neighbors talk to one another. If there is a problem, it should be addressed neighbor to neighbor first. If no agreement can be made, then it should be brought to the next level. Nobody enjoys having problems with their neighbors. Unfortunately, issues tend to come up. Its how you deal with it that can make your life easier, or harder. The Hutton's neighbors chose to make life harder for all 3 parties involved. Even after the Hutton's were blind-sighted by the filed complaints, they have been willing to compromise and do everything asked of them. They have done their part. Neither of their neighbors have done squat but complain. How hard is this people? If you are not going to be happy with nothing but absolute silence where you live, then move to the country. Not in a subdivision where the houses are built on top of each other. Common sense people.
DJ April 14, 2012 at 07:49 AM
Any person can look into past animal removals to see that they don't happen very often and after the fiasco Countryside just had for removing a dog I doubt they would forcfully remove animals from this environment. They are well taken care of and both Huttons attended the meeting where as neither complaining neighbor did. Facts. I am also sure a good lawyer would do much better in looking into these laws and past exceptions to them.
DJ April 14, 2012 at 07:51 AM
And when the police were called who was ticketed or arrested? No one.
DJ April 14, 2012 at 07:58 AM
Telling her she needs a bark collar shows your character. Personal attacks are usually a desperate act from someone that cannot make a valid point using the facts. Her parents also can see the comments and are not commenting maybe because it has turned into a circus of name calling and alot of back and forth. The only ones that they have to answer to is the board. Their daughter didn't need to be put up to defending them. Its called family. The main point was that neither neighbor tried to TALK about the dogs except for when David chased one and was yelling at Diana. So not really a talk I would say. It isn't as if the Huttons have done nothing, they in fact have done quite a bit in the last year to make the situation better. It is a sad situation now. Almost beyond repair at this point.
Gary Herrick April 14, 2012 at 02:08 PM
You're losing sight of the fact the the barking dogs are annoying!! I think everyone has a right to enjoy their own home in peace and quiet, without intrusions by neighbors and/or their dogs. I have 4 dachshunds, and live with close neighbors. If my dogs start to bark I go out and bring them in. Frankly my dogs' barking drives me nuts as well as my neighbors. I don't think anone should have to live beside noisy dogs that ruin their right to enjoy their own yards.
enicar333 April 14, 2012 at 03:11 PM
Why don't you define "Neighborly"? Clearly - The Huttons and their child have a far different definition of "neighbor" than most. ARE the Huttons SELFISH - YES! They've tried to control the dogs? NO. No they haven't. The neighbors were polite and considerate - the Huttons chose to ignore that - and continued in their ways. If the Huttons had ANY interest in being considerate they would have taken the hint and changed their ways. The Huttons either need to move to a Country/farming location - OR have all dogs removed from the property.
Heather Asiyanbi (Editor) April 14, 2012 at 04:00 PM
@Michael - I think the Village Board understands the attachment people have to their pets and my impression was that trustees gave the discussion the weight they thought it deserved.
Heather Asiyanbi (Editor) April 14, 2012 at 04:05 PM
@D.O.Golf - the Huttons did not shoot that video of their dogs. I purposely held this story until I could get the dogs in a photo (impossible, really, because they run fast and look like brown blurs) or on video, which worked out just fine. They were before the board on Monday, April 9, and I visited them on Wednesday, April 12 where I took the video and posted it with the story.
Heather Asiyanbi (Editor) April 14, 2012 at 04:08 PM
@D.O. Golf - let's not start with those types of comments, okay? If you have experience that matches this situation or live in the neighborhood, then okay. If you have suggestions to offer, then okay, too. But let's steer clear of these degrading types of comments. Thanks.
hld April 14, 2012 at 04:26 PM
Try taking an unannounced video from the neighbors yards with the dogs out and post the results of that on this site. Will paint a total different picture unless the Hutton's have been able to finally resolve problem. I would think video's have already been taken.
Michael P. Voss April 14, 2012 at 04:36 PM
ok, another country heard from...
Michael P. Voss April 14, 2012 at 05:07 PM
Yes, I agree Heather, this is really a good discussion and I think healthy for all to talk about it,. in our business , when siting down and talking out differences, and in negotiation with some sensitive topics: we always try set the ground rules from the start, 1. No yelling 2. No name calling. 3. Try to keep to the facts at hand, 4. Try your best to keep your own emotions in check: (this is a hard one for a lot of people) easier said then done... 5. keep discussing this,.( and try your hardest to see the others points of view as well. hope this helps Michael
DJ April 14, 2012 at 05:19 PM
They do bring them in when they start barking. The backyard project incident was before the Huttons knew the neighbors were upset about it. The Huttons found out by getting the letter to appear in front of the board. Neither neighbor ever tried to just come over and say "Hey please keep them from barking so much etc". If your neighbors dogs were bothering you so much wouldn't you say something before filing a complaint? Even after that the Huttons bought them ALL bark collars. That they used enough to run out of batteries. Matt and Lisa said that the situation was better last summer.
DJ April 14, 2012 at 05:26 PM
How are they selfish? They only let them for short periods of time, bought bark collars, talked to a trainer and were considering other options to make this better. I haven't seen anything of a compromise from the other neighbors. Also remember that the Huttons and their dogs lived there BEFORE either complaining neighbor moved in. So please define NEIGHBORLY to me in your terms. Also polite and considerate don't mean screaming at a woman and chasing their dog. Remember if they do not get their fanciers license renewed they will still have 3 dogs. Lets make them pick and chooose which ones to keep. That sounds humane and neighborly.
DJ April 14, 2012 at 05:28 PM
It also looks like both neighbors were asked to comment on the story but did not. So I doubt it was orchastrated by the Huttons. They were just the only ones, agian, willing to TALK about it and try to help get it resolved.
Gary Herrick April 14, 2012 at 05:28 PM
I guess I'm just saying that there shouldn't even be a "situation" at all.
hld April 16, 2012 at 11:59 AM
Hutton's had not previously registered their animals and or submit for a Fanciers License prior to this situation. This is openly reflected in Mt Pleasant Counsil notes and police report.
Terra Mata April 16, 2012 at 12:41 PM
It should also state in there when they tried to apply for it the first time they were told to wait because they did not have all the dogs vaccinated due to age, they were still puppies so they had a few more weeks to go and the lady said to wait and do them all at once.
Michael P. Voss April 16, 2012 at 02:46 PM
Alrightyy then.....that went over big...
hld April 16, 2012 at 05:24 PM
One was maybe a puppy in 2010 they got to replace a full grown Collie. But the other five were not puppies and neither was the Collie. They had no previous licenses, to include a fancier permit (four or more pets) for six dogs and two cats. Fact.
Terra Mata April 16, 2012 at 07:55 PM
last time I checked a collie is not full grown at 4 months old. fact. one cat was put down due to age. fact. Hutton's only have to answer to village board, not anyone that wants to post on here that has not lived in their house and known any of the situation first hand. fact.
christina labrie April 17, 2012 at 04:23 PM
Wow... I'm guessing the next meeting is gonna be FUN!
Mary April 28, 2012 at 08:12 PM
They make restrictions for a reason, so everyone can enjoy the property they have and are paying for.. Thier is no way that 7 dogs should be allowed in such a contained area. I don't care if they are well taken care of , they do Not have the space they need. Your animals are being a nuisance to your neighbors and to they area. Just like you think you have the right to 7 dogs ( which you don't for that location), your neighbors do have the right to enjoy there homes inside and out without the noise of your uncontrolled dogs...I think you should stop looking at your neighbors for an excuse for to many dogs and look at yourself,.
Martha June 30, 2012 at 07:56 AM
Being a dog owner I own two dogs and I fight to keep the noisy one quiet every day. I don't like hearing dogs bark and my quiet dogs HATES barking dogs and will leave if my little girl starts barking. Barking dogs are a nusiance no matter if dogs bark or not. I will not get another noisy dog until I move to a larger property. I also have a sister who lives near a house that owns three daschunds. Same breed as here. For three months I pet sat for her twice a week and walked her dogs. If the daschunds were ever outside in the back yard they would CHARGE their invisible fence barking and growling and screaming their little heads off only a couple of feet from the sidewalk. They are very aggressive and territorial and this is typical of the daschund breed. Are those dogs out 24/7? No, they're probably only let out for a few minutes to an hour at a time. But whenever they ARE there I feel like it's a dangerous situation because they are clearly more interested in biting then behaving and have little training. I cannot imagine how awful it would be to have seven around... My god, I would complain too!


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