Quiet-List 1997

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News item -- barking dogs

RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA (AP) -- An elderly man who is deaf, legally blind 
and diabetic spent a month in jail for refusing to get rid of any of the 
dogs he considers family.

James Melvin, 69, who was released from prison Friday, was convicted of 
violating an ordinance in the town of Littleton by letting his 14 dogs bark 
too much.

"I'm not a criminal," Melvin said through a sign-language interpreter....

Melvin's neighbors complained that his dogs made a constant racket that 
spoils the peace in their quiet town of 650 people.... The original charges 
were filed in 1993 and Melvin was convicted in March. He refused to obey 
the judge's order to get rid of all but five dogs, and was sentenced to 
jail. An appeal was rejected.

His wife said they will keep their dogs inside more now.

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