Hi,
I would really appreciate some advice on how to deal with a neighbor's dogs' nuisance barking.
I live in a neighborhood where everyone lives in acre and 3/4 acre lots. I have a neighbor next door who seems to be operating a kennel out of his backyard, and perhaps the fact that his land is not a small sized lot for the typical cookie cutter home probably makes him think that he's an Island unto himself, or something.
So far, I've spotted at least over 4 very large dogs in his yard, and it sounds to me like he has more chained out on the otherside of his lot. These dogs are always barking, especially around the evening hours, at least till 10 o'clock. The 4 dogs are chained in towards my fence line, and that is why they sound so loud. The barking has become a nuisance, because it disturbs my recreational time. I can't even watch tv without being distracted by all that noise. and I can't even play the piano like I used to enjoy before. My guess is that either the neighbor isn't feeding his dogs enough food, or that he is neglecting to feed them on some days.
Anyway, this neighbor definitely knows that he's causing a nuisance, and I've even yelled out several times at his dogs to shut up, in an attempt to get the neighbor's attention that his dogs are creating a nuisance. I even became so angry that I yelled out a threat to report to the police for the nuisnace.

I've never talked to this neighbor personally and quite honestly don't care to, because the impression I've gotten over the years is that he's not of a friendly disposition. He is not the kind of neighbor who returns waves of the hand and etc. I have no interest in having a conversation with this guy, as I'm sure he's the kind of jerk who is going to tell me to take a hike if I tell him about the nuisance being created by his dogs.
I'm just fed up with it at this point. I've never been the kind of person who feels comfortable reporting anyone to the cops, but I may have to do it in this case. While I lived at this residence for several years, I'm actually a guest in this home. And the person who lives here has asked that I don't report the neighbor to the cops, because this individual doesn't want a "problem" with the neighbors. Though, I don't see any alternative to this situation, and I will have to state this tomorrow.
So, I have a basic question to ask about calling the cops regarding nuisance barking. How exactly do the police normally handle these situations? For example, if I call in to the police department, will they send someone over to the residence where I live to get a report, or will they get what they need from me over the phone and then proceed to the neighbor's house? Will I be asked to file a report in person, or will what I tell them over the phone about the inconsiderate neighbor and his dogs be enough? What is the experience with this?
thanks
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I would really appreciate some advice on how to deal with a neighbor's dogs' nuisance barking. I live in a ... sized lot for the typical cookie cutter home probably makes him think that he's an Island unto himself, or something.

People like that are the enemy of responsible dog owners.
So, I have a basic question to ask about calling the cops regarding nuisance barking. How exactly do the police normally handle these situations?

Impossible to tell you because it caries so much from one loacition to another. In some areas its isn't even a statuory violation - a disturbed neighbor has to resort to suing in common law. IN other jurisdicaitons it is taken very seriously. In some areas it is handled by police, in others by animal control and still others by community services.
For example, if I call in to the police department, will they send someone over to the residence where I live to get a report, or will they get what they need from me over the phone and then proceed to the neighbor's house?

Sorry, can't tell you. In my experience it isn't even as simple as your local jurisdiction. But the part of town you live in matters - wealthier neighborhoods might get a different treatment from less wealthy. ANd oddly that could either mean more supportor less support for the disturbed person depending upon local culture.
Will I be asked to file a report in person, or will what I tell them over the phone about the inconsiderate neighbor and his dogs be enough? What is the experience with this?

Ditto all of the above. But this is not to say you are going to be helpless.
http://www.tenant.net/Court/nolo/nn167.html
The National Association for Community Mediation
http://www.nafcm.org / 202 667-9700
For details see
Barking Dogs: Legal Ways to Stop the Noise
from Nolo press http://www.nolo.com
http://www.epa.nsw.gov.au/noise/noise brochures.htm

Diane Blackman
http://dog-play.com /
http://dogplay.com/Shop /
Thanks for the reply. I really don't know how much the sheriff dept. will do about this situation, but when I emailed them some time ago, I was told there are no specific local laws here dealing with dog nuisance barking. They only have a few state laws to go by, and those really only deal with how many dogs are on a property, and not noise barking.
But in the reply I received I was also told that if I reported the nuisance barking to the sheriff over the phone , the sheriff would have a 'talk' with these people. Though I'm not sure how effective that will be, especially if they can't cite the inconsiderate neighbor. I wonder if this will only blow up the situation even more.
So I could call and get the local sheriff involved as a final resort, but now I also have to worry about how the people I live with wiill take the whole thing, especially my host. As I said before, my host (who is not bothered so much by the barking as he lives on other side of the house) has told me not to contact the police or animal control, but I will inform that I can no longer abide by this. That is why I asked about how the police generally handle these situations, because if the cops drive up to the residence, then my host/landlord is going to start freaking out.
So out of desperation, I will try one last manuever, I'm going to send a letter to the address of the inconsiderate neighbor. I tried not to make the letter threatening and kept it friendly , but I did think it was worth mentioning that I have considered contacting the animal control people about this problem. Basically, I exhort the neighbor to find out what is causing his dogs so much stress, and to remedy it.
I did not identify exactly who I was by name, other than to say that I'm a guest of one of his neighbors, and that the incessant dog barking is an annoyance. Though I'm sure once they read the letter, they will automatically know who I am.
I wonder if the neighbor will be set off by the letter, and will come over to where I live to heckle me, or give me the evil eye whenever he sees me.. But at this point, I don't think I should care any longer about that. If all this fails, I will take the final unfortunate step of getting animal control/sheriff dept involved, and if that's not effective, I will have to take action in court.
thanks
You can call the sheriff's department back and ask these questions. Let them know that you are thinking of reporting a nuisance but you have concerns regarding how such a thing would be handled. Let them know that you (in place of your host) aren't looking for a confrontation with your neighbor and would very much appreciate your name being left out of things. Find out if they do that, follow-up on "anonymous" leads or will at least protect your identity when speaking with the offending neighbor. Many Animal Control officers will do this because they know that if they don't respect the person's wishes for anonymity then a neighbor dispute could very well erupt and then the police will become involved. It really doesn't serve either authority to divulge your name to the neighbor.

As Diane posted, what will happen varies widely from one town to the next. I've found that generally, if you can get Animal Control or the police to come out (its usually AC's jurisdiction), that the neighbor will get a nice little verbal warning. If it continues to happen and AC is called out again then, generally, the neighbor gets another verbal warning. IOW nothing serious will happen because you don't have local dog-nuisance laws on the books. This could go on indefinitely or your neighbor could take to heart whatever consequences AC states will happen and put a stop to it.

The likelihood, IMO, based on the neighbor's lack of consideration to date, is that he won't change his ways either because he doesn't want to or he can't. Sadly enough people like your neighbor are often the motivating force behind other people selling their homes and moving to a different neighborhood. I don't think one bad seed should win out over many good ones but animal control laws are weak in most places and the enforcement to follow up on them even weaker.

Tara
Thanks for the reply. I really don't know how much the sheriff dept. will do about this situation, but ... of getting animal control/sheriff dept involved, and if that's not effective, I will have to take action in court. thanks

Get enough antibark collars for each dog, and give them to your neighbor as a peace offering. Anti-bark collars are pretty effective. You can't TRAIN their dogs for them, but I would think this would be a workable insurance policy for anti-barking and still send the message to the neighbor that there is a problem
If they don't put them on the dogs, then complain
Get enough antibark collars for each dog, and give them to your neighbor as a peace offering.

Dontcha think that would be a little pricey? Not to mention a huge waste of money when the dog owner threw them in the trash?
A better solution:
http://www.growinglifestyle.com/us/article/s0/a292117.html

Effective, cost effective, and doesn't need the neighbor's cooperation.

I have one to quiet the dobe behind me, but mostly to stop bitchy fence fighting between her and Lucy. I keep it on short range for that purpose and it works like a charm. Lucy learned it VERY quickly. The dobe will still test it at times. If the dobe is barking non-stop, I'll switch the range to long range.
Janet Boss
http://bestfriendsdogobedience.com /
http://www.growinglifestyle.com/us/article/s0/a292117.html Effective, cost effective, and doesn't need the neighbor's cooperation. I have one to quiet the dobe behind me, but ... it at times. If the dobe is barking non-stop, I'll switch the range to long range. Janet Boss http://bestfriendsdogobedience.com /

I keep forgetting about this Janet. I really do want one myself. Gotta get me
one to prevent any fence fighting.
Gwen
I keep forgetting about this Janet. I really do want one myself. Gotta get me one to prevent any fence fighting. Gwen

It's a very good ~$30 investment! I don't have to listen to them *** at each other or the dobe moaning and barking over nothing all day long.
Janet Boss
http://bestfriendsdogobedience.com /
I know in our county, the noise ordinance covers a specific time frame on most issues (i.e. what is acceptable in the day/early evening is not late evening/early morning, etc)
My guess is that either the neighbor isn't feeding his dogs enough food, or that he is neglecting to feed them on some days.

Or they're bored, or hot, or cold, or thirsty...
I even became so angry that I yelled out a threat to report to the police for the nuisnace.

Well, there's no point in going for the "anonymous report" now, you'll want to judge whether the dogs bother you enough to cause hard feelings with the neighbor.
I'm sure he's the kind of jerk who is going to tell me to take a hike if I tell him about the nuisance being created by his dogs.

I'm not a touchy feely stand at the fence and shoot the breeze kind of person either, preferring my privacy. That said, if a neighbor had a problem with my dogs, I'd really prefer they come to me, not send the authorities with a frustrating call. I say frustrating, because if you approach the neighbor yourself, you can discuss a solution and he's not left feeling overly defensive. Will never know if you don't try. You're already yelling over the fence, so he may know, he may not.
While I lived at this residence for several years, I'm actually a guest in this home. And the person who lives here has asked that I don't report the neighbor to the cops, because this individual doesn't want a "problem" with the neighbors.

Ok, well, none of my business.. but if you are a guest and your host doesn't want you to report him to the police, and you are a guest, why would you not respect that? What about the other homeowners in the area?

If you've been a guest for years... perhaps your host is hoping the dogs will drive you out? Just kidding!
Will I be asked to file a report in person, or will what I tell them over the phone about the inconsiderate neighbor and his dogs be enough? What is the experience with this?

If your host asked you not to, I wouldn't do it. If it bothers you to the point that you must do something, approach the neighbor with a "what can we do to fix this" approach and stay open and friendly. Some people use "barker breakers" for their neighbors' dogs, you might try that.

Robin
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