It is not illegal for a dog to bark. It is a violation if it creates a chronic annoyance, disturbance, or discomfort to those in close proximity. It is a fact that most nuisance barking occurs when the owner is not home. Dogs are social animals and get lonely and bored. Sometimes the solution is as simple as letting the neighbor know that their dog is barking and giving them an opportunity to fix the problem.
When reporting a barking dog to Animal Control it is important to have the correct physical address and be as detailed as possible as to when precisely the barking is occurring. A history check will be done and if this is the first complaint or there has not been one in 6 months, a letter will be sent to the dog owner. It will not include the name of the complaining party but will give specifics about the complaint and ideas for addressing the problem.
If the problem continues then we will need at least two different households willing to document dates and times of barking. A complaint will be submitted to the District Attorney office and they will determine if charges are to be filed based on the witness testimony.
Due to staffing cut backs Animal Control does not routinely go out on barking dog complaints. The exception is that if there are at least three reporting parties being disturbed. When time permits Animal Control will send an Officer to the neighborhood to park a discreet distance from the residence and listen for barking. If the ACO witnesses the dog barking for 30 minutes then a citation can be issued and/or the dog impounded.