A guest Blog from Stephanie Lynch
September 14, 2016 Susan Lyman
We are very pleased to have our guest blogger, Stephanie Lynch, howmuchisit.org, share this wonderful article on Dog Barking Laws. A special thanks to Stephanie from all of us at Tails Untold Personalized Pet Books.
Barking laws are designed to protect you from chronic barking at your neighbor’s house. Dogs barking can disrupt your sleep, your daily routine and even your health. To protect you from such harm, anti-barking laws are made.
Now, before we get into the specifics of dog barking laws, keep in mind that usually, the best course of action is to contact your neighbor in person. 90 percent of the time, your neighbor won’t know about the issue and will usually do something to resolve the problem. Bypassing this step may often lead to tension or even a lot of wasted time on your part.
Barking laws differ from city to city, but you can learn about them by calling the nearest animal control center or even contacting the local police department. Most of the time, if you search your city plus the word dog barking laws, you will get an official page telling you the local law and how to dispute a barking dog. Do keep in mind that before making a dispute, the local police department will put these complaints on the bottom of the list.
There are many common barking laws found throughout the United States and listed below are the most common types you may find in your local city.
The Multiple-Household Laws
According to this law, barking is considered illegal if the case goes to the court and the victim provides detailed information about the owner, dog and neighbors. The victim has to come forward with some neighbors who have the same complaints before the authorities can take any legal action.
Before it can go to court, however, you will more than likely have to meet with the neighbor, write a detailed letter complaint, file legal papers and gather relevant data. As you can only imagine, hiring a lawyer can be expensive, www.howmuchisit.org if you choose to do it on your own, it can eat up a lot of your time.
This is the only law that requires more than one complaint before the judge may agree to take legal action. There is no specific information in the ordinances of this law as to whether or not it is illegal for the owner to allow their dog to bark. It only depends on the judge to declare that, whether or not, the barking in your situation is illegal. In simple words, this law states the barking is illegal only if the judge says that it is illegal.
The major problem with this law is that most people do not agree to get involved since it can cause conflicts or can take up too much of their time.
The Single Complaint Victim-Driven Laws
To file a complaint according to this law, one has to pass all the procedures as with multiple-household laws but with a single complaint in effect. Only a single victim without any neighbors within a certain radius can take advantage of this law, but most cities don’t have this law in effect, so don’t count on this working for your situation.
The major problem with this law is that it’s going to be you versus the neighbor and most cases don’t make it to court.
The Consecutive-Disruption Ordinances
The consecutive-disruption law only protects you from the noise of a dog that has the habit of barking virtually non-stop. The authorities only take action when the dog barks continuously for a number of minutes, and the amount can be random depending on the local law. Most of the time, it will be around 20 minutes.
This law is not exactly the answer to your problems. Under these ordinances, barking is illegal only if the owner allows the dog to bark continuously without any breaks. But, if the dog stops barking after a few minutes and starts after a few seconds, the countdown resets and begins from the start.
The Common Law
According to this law, if your neighbor’s dog is barking, you can settle the dispute by talking to your neighbor. This law forces the people to settle their disputes by talking to each other before going to the authorities. Most of the time, a neighbor may not know about their dog’s barking and will take action to prevent it, while others may be stubborn and tell you to get lost. Whatever your local laws may be, this is often the first route you will have to take. If you’re curious about the dog laws more in details, BarkingDogs.net went into more detail, along with stories about people who have successfully worked with the law.