‘Stop the squeal:' Noise to deter dog poop plagues downtown Orlando residents

Motion sensors emit high-pitch noise to prevent health issue created by feces

By Emilee Speck - Digital journalist

ORLANDO, Fla. - A piercing noise meant to deter animals from the area is driving some residents of a downtown Orlando neighborhood to demand the city “stop the squeal.”

Residents told News 6 that the noise started in 2012 after two boxes were installed in front of the Orange County Bar Association Building at 880 North Orange Ave. The office building faces a row of condominiums and local businesses including the North Quarter Market and a Pilates studio.

More condominiums and apartment buildings have sprung up in the growing district between Colonial Avenue and Ivanhoe Village.

A group of fed-up residents started a Facebook group called “North Quarter United #StopTheSqueal” to try to resolve the issue.

"If you never had tinnitus in your ears that ringing that you get it's sort of like that it's just constant always emitting and they are motion detected os any car that goes by set its off," Tim Lawrence, who founded the Facebook group, said.

Lawrence who purchased his condo in Uptown Place a few months ago and said he was shocked the squeal had been going on for years.

The motion-sensor boxes emit a high-frequency noise meant to put an end to “health and safety issues" caused by dogs defecating, a representative for the Orange County Bar Association said.

“The OCBA implemented several different measures to find a solution to the problem,” a statement from the association read. “After exhausting these options, the OCBA installed motion-sensitive sound deterrent equipment to help address the health and safety concerns."

Residents also said some people can hear the noise, but others cannot. [Listen to the sound below]

City officials told News 6 that they have received multiple complaints about the noise since November of last year, but that the frequency does not violate the city noise ordinance.

“Each time, staff has gone out and inspected the complaints, using noise meters to determine if there are any violations of the city's noise ordinance,” Kathy DeVault, city of Orlando director of strategic partnerships said. “In all three cases, the meter has not registered any noise levels that would be in violation of our ordinance.

Jonathan Rihan, who walks his dog in the vicinity, said he avoids the area where the boxes are, but that the noise doesn’t appear to affect his dog.

“I can hear it and it's like the same noise you hear online to bother dogs,” Rihan said. “It's that really high-pitched noise.”

After requests for comment from News 6, the Orange County Bar Association said Tuesday that it is working on a new solution.

“When the concerns were brought to our attention, the OCBA promptly began researching alternative solutions to maintain proper sanitary standards on our property," a statement from OCBA read. "It is our hope to come up with a solution that will benefit the concerned parties, the North Quarter community as a whole and keep our property sanitary for our members and the public we serve."

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