WCGHS supporters plan to protest neighboring company Friday

Dog noise issues continue in port industrial park

The frustrations continue near the West Columbia Gorge Humane dog shelter.

Jesse Hutton, owner of Northwest Underwater Construction, has been seen videotaping the shelter — reportedly on the advice of his attorney.

Hutton has previously expressed frustrations with the noise levels of dogs barking at the shelter.

NW Underwater Construction, located at 727 S. 27th St., is near the dog shelter at 2675 S. Index St., Washougal, in the Port of Camas-Washougal Industrial Park.

Neither Hutton nor Eric Muller, Northwest Underwater Construction director of sales and marketing, returned phone calls or an email, prior to press deadlines.

Muller has previously responded “no comment,” when asked whether the sound of dogs barking has impacted the business or its employees.

In response to Hutton’s videotaping of the shelter and its volunteers, Tamara Scharfenkamp, executive director of the WCGHS, has taped Hutton near the shelter.

“The [WCGHS] board has asked that anytime Mr. Hutton exhibits behavior that is focused or directed towards our volunteers or property, we want the incident documented,” said WCGHS spokesman Mark Fruechtel. “Him sitting in his Hummer for extended periods of time in front of our buildings videoing our volunteers is bizarre, and many find it intimidating.

“If he is trying to document noise created by our dogs barking, then he should record that from his front door, not from the front of our property where there is no sound deadening material, no fence and containers to muffle sound and [it is] half the distance closer,” Fruechtel added.

Last fall, City of Washougal employees installed an acoustic screen around part of the dog shelter. Acoustic panels were added to the interior of the building, to dampen the sound at the source, according to City Administrator David Scott.

The total cost of both projects, $8,000, was paid from the city’s animal control budget for building maintenance and the building capital facilities fund.

Last year, Northwest Underwater Construction installed an air horn on its property, in an effort to discourage barking by the shelter dogs.

Protest could be held Friday

Meanwhile, supporters of the shelter are hoping to hold a protest Friday, across the street from the Northwest Underwater property.

A “Boycott NW Underwater Construction” Facebook page, created to protest the company’s “ongoing bullying” of the WCGHS, mentions the closed group has 208 supporters.

The group is currently awaiting approval from the city of Washougal to hold the protest.

“This is not a WCGHS endorsed event,” Fruechtel said.