How to Report an Excessively Barking Dog

Updated February 21, 2017

A dog that won't stop barking can interrupt your sleep, break your concentration or just annoy you. Many cities and towns have laws to prevent anyone, including dogs, from being a noise nuisance. Although the dogs themselves will not be held responsible, their owners will. If you need to report this type of nuisance in your neighbourhood, you must do so to the correct department.

Write a formal complaint. Indicate the owners, description and address of the barking dog, if known. The description must indicate the type of dog, colour and size. Describe the barking and estimate the total minutes or hours during the day that the barking occurs. State whether there is a cause for the barking and whether the dog is inside or outside the home. Include your full name and contact information.

Contact your city's animal control department. An enforcement officer will take your complaint over the phone or ask that you submit the complaint in writing or complete a form.

Submit the complaint or form by mail, fax or in person to the city's animal control department. The agency will issue a warning to the dog owner.

Report the barking dog to your homeowners' association, if you have one. The association will also issue a warning to the homeowner.

File a complaint in small claims court if the owner fails to quiet the dog. Many civil court judges will be unable to force the owner to quiet or get rid of the dog, but you can sue for damages. Damages could include loss of sleep that has affected your ability to work. To file a complaint, go to the county courthouse and file a complaint at the court clerk's office. The dog owner will be served with a summons to appear in court. In court, you must appear, explain and prove your case to the judge. Lawyers are not required in small claims court.

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About the Author

Si Kingston has been an online content contributor since 2004, with work appearing on websites such as MadeMan. She is a professional screenwriter and young-adult novelist and was awarded the Marion-Hood Boesworth Award for Young Fiction in 2008. Kingston holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Mills College.