Barking dogs

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Latest post Fri, Mar 16 2012 3:45 PM by floridagirl47. 18 replies.
  • Thu, Nov 18 2010 10:02 AM

    • Lisa R.
      Consumer
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    • Joined on Thu, Nov 18 2010
    • FL
    • Posts 4

    Barking dogs

    This isn't really personal injury, but I couldn't figure out where else to put it.

    I live in Orlando, FL, Orange County, inside the city limits.

    I have a mini-Daschund and a Chihuahua who bark frequently when nobody is home. Other than work, we don't go out much, so the barking is mostly confined to daylight hours. I have made efforts to alieviate the problem (radio/TV, toys, bark control devices, etc.) and, for the most part, it has improved. However, my neighbor leaves nasty notes on my front door threatening legal action and has complained to Animal Control (I haven't been cited). I think he's a bully, but I don't want to be sued.

    Orange County law states that "nuisance" dog owners can be fined up to $500 for failing to control their pet, but are small inside dogs that yap during daylight hours considered nuisances? We live in townhouses next door to each other in a dog-friendly community. Is he expecting too much? There are other dogs that bark in the neighborhood, but because our homes abut each other, he singles out my pups. No other neighbors are complaining. He's harrassing me and I'm stressing about this. I don't know how much more I can do - today I left every radio in the house on. They're dogs - they bark. He should thank me for the early warning system!

    Does he have legal recourse? How much am I expected to do as a dog owner to stop the barking? I can't afford doggie day care - I'm a single parent supporting two college students. I will continue to address the problem, but he's scaring me a little!

  • Thu, Nov 18 2010 10:09 AM In reply to

    • mudpie
      Consumer
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    • WV
    • Posts 1,308

    Re: Barking dogs

    Yes he does. Dogs bark....but not all day long. I have a dog. She only barks when someone comes to the door.

    If there is an ordinance, he can file a complaint, request enforcement, and you can be cited. It doesn't matter that other neighbors haven't complained. He has. He singles out your dogs because they probably are the only ones barking all day long. Telling you to control your dogs is not harrassment.

    He has a right to the quite enjoyment of his home. If there is a noise ordinance he can complain.

    Maybe the solution is to find out why the dogs are barking. Maybe they don't like the radio station.

  • Thu, Nov 18 2010 10:18 AM In reply to

    Re: Barking dogs

    Lisa R.:
    However, my neighbor leaves nasty notes on my front door threatening legal action and has complained to Animal Control (I haven't been cited). I think he's a bully

    Oh, you think he's a bully for insisting that your right to a barking dog ends with your four walls. That might be your first problem.

    Lisa R.:
    but I don't want to be sued.

    A lawsuit is certainly a possibility.

    Lisa R.:
    Orange County law states that "nuisance" dog owners can be fined up to $500 for failing to control their pet, but are small inside dogs that yap during daylight hours considered nuisances?

    From a legal standpoint it certainly could be. 

    • A private nuisance is a civil wrong; it is the unreasonable, unwarranted, or unlawful use of one's property in a manner that substantially interferes with the enjoyment or use of another individual's property, without an actual Trespass or physical invasion to the land.

    Above quoted from:

    http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/nuisance

     

    Lisa R.:
    We live in townhouses next door to each other in a dog-friendly community. Is he expecting too much?

    No.

    Lisa R.:
    There are other dogs that bark in the neighborhood, but because our homes abut each other, he singles out my pups.

    Because he hears them the loudest. That's all that counts.

    Lisa R.:
    No other neighbors are complaining.

    Irrelevant.

    Lisa R.:
    He's harrassing me

    No, he isn't. He's expressing his right to peace and quiet.

    Lisa R.:
    I'm stressing about this. I don't know how much more I can do - today I left every radio in the house on. They're dogs - they bark.

    Lots of dogs don't bark.

    Lisa R.:
    He should thank me for the early warning system!

    That's your opinion. Also irrelevant.

    Lisa R.:
    Does he have legal recourse?

    Yes. He can institute a private nuisance lawsuit as well as file a complaint with the authorities and get you fined. That seems like plenty of recourse to me.

    Lisa R.:
    How much am I expected to do as a dog owner to stop the barking?

    Whatever it takes up to and including finding the dogs a new home where their barking can be muted by a greater distance from neighbors.

    Lisa R.:
    I can't afford doggie day care - I'm a single parent supporting two college students. I will continue to address the problem, but he's scaring me a little!

    Frankly, if I was disturbed by barking on the other side of my wall I'd want to scare you, too.

     

    • The right of the people 
    • to keep and bear arms,
    • shall not be infringed.
  • Thu, Nov 18 2010 10:40 AM In reply to

    Re: Barking dogs

    It is really your responsiblity to keep those dogs quiet during the hours that you are away. 

    Never mind the legal issues, it's simply impolite to leave a dog barking all day long right next to your neighbor while you at off at work all day.  I'd say you need to do whatever it is you need to do in order to keep your dog from barking constantly.

    I work from home, and thankfully, my neighbors don't have barking dogs.  However, if I had to listen to a dog next to me bark from the time you leave until the time you get back from work I'd be pretty upset also.

    At this point, the guy is actually giving you the warning, and has yet to take more drastic actions.  Yes, he very likely can take you to court over something like this.

    In my humble opinion, if you are leaving dogs alone by themselves all day long, and they are constantly barking, while they are left alone, you can't afford to have doggie day care, then maybe you shouldn't own a dog?

    Just my opinion.

  • Thu, Nov 18 2010 11:00 AM In reply to

    • Lisa R.
      Consumer
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    • Joined on Thu, Nov 18 2010
    • FL
    • Posts 4

    Re: Barking dogs

    mudpie:

    If there is an ordinance, he can file a complaint, request enforcement, and you can be cited. It doesn't matter that other neighbors haven't complained.

    Not true. The ordinance states that at least two adjoining or abutting neighbors must complain or the Animal Control Officer must have first hand knowledge of the offense. An Animal Control Officer has been out to my home. He did not detect any uncontrolled barking (he sat in a van in front of my house for a couple of hours when I wasn't home). My dogs, like yours, bark when someone comes to the door. Right now, the HOA is painting the units and there's a lot of activity outside my house. They bark because there are strangers around.

    Saying my dogs are the only ones that bark all day is far-fetched (and it's not all day, they are only home alone for a couple of hours in the afternoon). Irrelevant, I know - I can't prove it because I work for a living. However, sometimes he accuses my dogs when they aren't, in fact, barking. I know this because I'm home with them when he leaves the note on the door saying they've been barking for the last X amount of time when they've been sitting peacefully with me watching TV. We are talking about very small dogs that yip - it's hardly a bark.

    So today I turned on every radio in every room of the house. I made them as loud as I thought I could get away with. I'm hoping either the sound will drown out the noise from outside or my neighbor will have something else to complain about ;) It seems to me that in the interest of peaceful co-existence it would make better sense for him to knock on my door and talk about it like two adults rather than threatening me with notes on the door. Again, irrelevant, I know.

    Thanks for the replies none-the-less. While I consider the dogs part of my family and my neighbor is a complete stranger, I will continue to address the problem in whatever ways I can until I find a solution. I think he would be hard-pressed to prove his case in court (no witnesses or noise citation), but I hope it doesn't come to that!

  • Thu, Nov 18 2010 11:29 AM In reply to

    • splum1
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    • FL
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    Re: Barking dogs

    Your dogs do fit the category of nuisance according to the Orange County noise ordinance and you are right, there has to be two neighbors  involved, but that is according to Orange County ordinance. Does your HOA have ordinances you must comply with? I would bet yes. 

    Curious what type of anti barking devices you have tried because they are typically very successful.

    You may think your neighbor is a pain and he clearly thinks your dogs are.  Maybe he is the one having an issue because he is home during the day.  I am not sure why you think he is just being a bully and he should knock on your door to discuss it.  You know he wants it resolved so why don't you knock on his door to discuss it and hopefully come to an amicable resolution?

    I would also bet that if he continues to call Animal Control, you will be cited. Squeaky wheel gets the oil.

     

  • Thu, Nov 18 2010 12:31 PM In reply to

    • Lisa R.
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    • FL
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    Re: Barking dogs

    splum1:

    Your dogs do fit the category of nuisance according to the Orange County noise ordinance and you are right, there has to be two neighbors  involved, but that is according to Orange County ordinance. Does your HOA have ordinances you must comply with? I would bet yes. 

    Curious what type of anti barking devices you have tried because they are typically very successful.

    You may think your neighbor is a pain and he clearly thinks your dogs are.  Maybe he is the one having an issue because he is home during the day.  I am not sure why you think he is just being a bully and he should knock on your door to discuss it.  You know he wants it resolved so why don't you knock on his door to discuss it and hopefully come to an amicable resolution?

    I would also bet that if he continues to call Animal Control, you will be cited. Squeaky wheel gets the oil.

     

    Thank you for the reasonable response.

    My HOA does not have any additional dog or noise ordinances (I asked). Neither does the city of Orlando. Everyone follows the Orange County ordinance, which clearly states there must be two complainants. I can be cited, but if I show up in court and the guidelines are not followed, it will be dismissed.

    I have knocked on his door many times to discuss it. He refuses. He knows I'm trying to resolve the issue, but I understand his frustration. I'm just as frustrated. I take responsibility and I'm constantly trying new techniques. All I'm asking for is for him to tell me if what I'm trying is or isn't working. I have no way of knowing otherwise. Leaving threatening notes on my door is effective, but I'd like to know before it gets to that point!

    I'm using a bark control device that supposedly emits a high pitched noice when the dogs bark, but so far it has had no effect. Of course, I can't tell if it's actually working because I can't hear it. lol Friends tell me that if the dog's bark isn't loud enough, then it won't register that they've actually barked and my little guys' barks may be too high pitched for this product to work.

    I've also purchased interactive toys, chewies, and other diversionary tactics. I just spoke with my daughter and she said they barked a couple of times this morning, but for the most part have been quiet (as they usually are when someone is home). We are going to try splitting them up in different rooms. Maybe it's the pack mentality. I hate to do it, but I am willing to do whatever I can to keep my dogs and make the neighbor less unhappy. I'm not totally convinced it's always my dogs making the racket, but we'll see. I'm going to set up my computer to monitor the house during the day and see if there's a specific "thing" that sets them off. I'm willing to bet it's the exterior painters, so maybe this problem will be short-lived and things will settle down when they finish painting.

    Thanks for the sounding board. I appreciate the feedback.

  • Wed, Mar 9 2011 4:19 PM In reply to

    • John Ellis
      Consumer
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    • Joined on Wed, Mar 9 2011
    • CA
    • Posts 1

    Re: Barking dogs

    I cannot understand the mentality of some dog owners. I worked 45 years and never owned a dog because common sense told me that dogs are pack animals, high maintenance, need to be around people and you don't leave them alone all day while workng so your neghbors have to endure barking, that is unfair to human kind.

    You state he is harrassing you, well when you lose in court and have to pay up to $5,000 in California small claims,  than you will feel more than harrassed.

     

  • Wed, Mar 9 2011 8:28 PM In reply to

    Re: Barking dogs

    John Ellis:
    You state he is harrassing you, well when you lose in court and have to pay up to $5,000 in California small claims,  than you will feel more than harrassed.

    Umm....The OP is in FL. 

    Ok  I'm not a lawyer.  This is only my opinion /suggestion.  Most Replys' are based on information provided by the "original post" (OP).

  • Mon, Mar 14 2011 1:18 AM In reply to

    • Almasy
      Consumer
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    • NC
    • Posts 2

    Re: Barking dogs

    Lisa R.:
    ...are small inside dogs that yap during daylight hours considered nuisances?

    Absolutely. Yapping, chronic barking...whatever you want to call it...serves no purpose and is a nuisance to anyone who is forced to listen to it, whether the dog is inside or outside.

    Lisa R.:
    They're dogs - they bark. He should thank me for the early warning system!

    That statement, "dogs bark" is almost as annoying as a barking dog, and it's a feeble excuse for allowing your dog to disturb your neighbor. Dogs bark, but a dog that barks continually has issues that need to be addressed, and continual barking is very annoying, day or night.

    Your dog is not an early warning system. A dog that barks continually is not any type of warning system. In fact, you could be attacked or injured in your home and no one would know because your dog barks all the time and people are trying to ignore it.

    Lisa R.:
    How much am I expected to do as a dog owner to stop the barking?
          

    You should do whatever it takes to not annoy your neighbors, including finding the dog a new home with people who will spend more time with it. Like I said above, dogs that bark continually have problems that need to be addressed, and those problems cannot be addressed by people who are not home.

    "Noise, more than most pollutants, is closely related to manners. Good neighbors keep their noise to themselves; bad neighbors don't."
  • Thu, Mar 24 2011 2:25 PM In reply to

    • Lisa R.
      Consumer
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    • Joined on Thu, Nov 18 2010
    • FL
    • Posts 4

    Re: Barking dogs

    Every single one of you is somewhat incorrect. I talked to Orange County Animal Control (AC) after the most recent notice was posted on my door (another warning). Here's a summary of the AC officer's report.

    The AC officer stated in his report that he spent almost an hour in the neighbor's home and never heard a dog bark. He walked to my house and rang the doorbell. Still no dogs barking. So he asks the neighbor, when do the dogs normally bark? The neighbor replies, oh, they're usually quiet for weeks, then they'll have a barking fit. AC asks, what time of day and how long do these barking fits usually last? Neighbor replies, they are usually during the late afternoon and last about 10-15 minutes. AC says, dogs that bark for a few minutes every couple of weeks DO NOT constitute a nuisance. Dogs bark. That is not against the law. The barking must be a NUISANCE. That means that it must be repetitive and ongoing. He tells the neighbor that in order for a complaint to be filed, there must be proof of a NUISANCE and that neighbor should keep a log book of when the dogs bark, including date and time, duration of barking and a recording of said barking. Then AC would determine if that constituted a nuisance or was just a normal part of daily noises. AC officer then went to several of my neighbor's homes and asked about my dogs. Not a single other person stated that my dogs barked excessively or even at all during the day when I wasn't home. Orange County (Florida) statute requires at least two adjoining neighbors report the nuisance barking and/or the AC officer must hear it first-hand.

    The AC officer told me that he posted the warning just in case my dogs were barking and to appease my neighbor. The warning comes with lots of good advice about how to help keep dogs calm during the day and some information on local doggie day care and training/trainer facilities. As a matter of fact, I found a nice, affordable doggie daycare nearby using that information, so I'm glad he left it. Ultimately, I could not care less about my neighbor, but if my dogs are barking during the day, then they are bored and stressed. Daycare solves all the issues for a mere $9 per day for both dogs. A no brainer.

    Thank you to all who replied to my post. It was enlightening. At the end of the day, if you love your dogs, you'll do what's best for them.

  • Sun, Apr 10 2011 9:30 PM In reply to

    Re: Barking dogs

    Lisa R.:

    Ultimately, I could not care less about my neighbor, but if my dogs are barking during the day, then they are bored and stressed. Daycare solves all the issues for a mere $9 per day for both dogs. A no brainer.

    That seems to have been the issue all along.  You OBVIOUSLY only care about yourself and had no regard for the NUISANCE your dogs may have been causing to your neighbor.  People who cannot control their animals for whatever reason should not be allowed to own them.  It took your neighbor complaining to animal control to make you realize that you should have put your dogs in daycare all along?  Kudos to your neighbor then!  You obviously were not sharp enough to realize that leaving dogs alone all day might not be a good idea. BTW, there is no reason any well trained dog should bark for 10-15 minutes at a time for ANY reason.  Your neighbor probably did not know that he should have been recording the barking via audio and written account to document the frequency and duration of the nuisance.  If he had, I'm sure Animal Control would have had ample evidence to issue you a citation.  It is hard to recall times, dates and duration of barking dogs unless you have records to document them. 

  • Mon, Apr 11 2011 12:33 PM In reply to

    • LynnM
      Lawyer
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    • CA
    • Posts 28,248

    She's in FL

    So CA law is irrelevant.

    And just because you do not want a dog doesn't mean no one else should have them

  • Mon, Jun 20 2011 1:16 PM In reply to

    • Almasy
      Consumer
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    • NC
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    Re: Barking dogs

    Lisa R.:

    "...The neighbor replies, oh, they're usually quiet for weeks, then they'll have a barking fit. AC asks, what time of day and how long do these barking fits usually last? Neighbor replies, they are usually during the late afternoon and last about 10-15 minutes..."

    Glad you got the situation resolved. If my neighbors' dogs only barked 10-15 minutes every couple of weeks, I'd be very happy. Some of us have had to put up with almost continual day and night barking. I had to quit working in my yard and suffered from severe sleep deprivation because of my neighbor's dogs, for 3 years, and I thought I was going to end up in the hospital. I hated my own home, couldn't sell it, didn't have the money to move, and it was a very traumatic experience. So it's easy to understand why some of us freak out when we hear about people's dogs barking. I personally can't stand to hear any barking now, thanks to my neighbors.

  • Sun, Oct 30 2011 9:31 PM In reply to

    Re: Barking dogs

    If I didn't know better I would think your were MY neighbor in Orlando!  He has a chihuahua, and it barks (yaps) constantly whenever he is out.  It is obviously lonely.  I tried to be tolerant when they first moved in because I thought perhaps the dog just needed to get used to his new home or that maybe he was a puppy.  But it has gone on now and I am always in a rage because the yapping is driving me crazy.  I live in an apt. and the office here is useless.  I have left notes on my neighbor's door telling him his dog barks and cries all day when he is gone, and I have given him suggestions, i.e. barking devices, radio left on, special toys and pillows, etc., but the barking continues.  I leave notes because the man, using the term loosely, is on a different schedule than I am.  He works afternoons and also goes out at night.  He obviously does not care.  I will give him one week, and if the dog is still yapping constantly I will make a noise complaint.  It is not my style to be threatening, but my nerves are shot, and I will not spend my evenings hitting the wall and yelling "shut up," which quiets it down for about 15-20 minutes, then I have to do it again.  It barks until around 2:00 a.m. when the guy comes home.  As far as the animal control person telling you that your neighbor said your dogs are quiet then have a barking fit every few weeks, I have had many experiences where law enforcement stretches the truth, especially where a woman is involved.  They talk out of both sides of their mouths.  I doubt very much that your neighbor would be complaining if the problem was not serious.  It is too bad that you now have taken the position of not caring about your neighbor.  I hope you get a huge fine for all of the excuses you have for not controlling your dogs.  Why not get a house out in the country where no one will be disturbed by your dogs since they seem to be the central point of your life.  If you cannot afford to do what needs to be done for your dogs' and your neighbor's best interests, you shouldn't have dogs, period.  You are lucky that neighbor has been as patient as he has...  I am a very patient person, but my dog problem has made me feel like a raving maniac.  You probably won't see my post, as your post was months ago, but I felt I had to reply...  Check out this article on dog barking being hazardous to health... 

    http://www.nonoise.org/news/2000/mar26.htm#Barking%20Dogs%20Are%20a%20Health%20Hazard%20in%20California

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