Friday, September 20, 2013

Barking Dogs: What Can You Do About It? (Hint: Nothing)

I got this question a little while ago, based on a blog post from a year or so ago:

I so very much related to your article on dogs barking that I found on line.

Too bad we aren't TV watchers. It would be easier. But we read and it is hard to read with dogs yapping incessantly. We have a horrible issue on Westover (southwest Roanoke). The whole neighborhood has called Animal Control but nothing is happening.

My question is: How did you ever get the animal control people to stop the problem. It all seems like a lot of talk around here. Thanks for any advice.


I responded thusly:
I simply began to complain every time a dog barked. Every time. All of the dog barking is against city noise ordinance, so there are no exceptions. They all break the law and I complained about all of them.

Problem is that the "solution" is, at best, temporary. The police can really only warn the owners and told me that if I wanted to pursue this in court, I'd have to provide tapes/video, etc., and then the court might fine the owners, but probably wouldn't. It would issue yet another warning.

City Councils are loath to put teeth--so to speak--into dog barking laws because dog owners vote and my guess is more people own pets than don't. I have a Salem police officer living across the street (in Roanoke) and she puts her young dog out every morning at 5:45. It barks wildly until 6 a.m. when she takes it back in.

I called the police department yesterday to complain and was told "call back when the dog is barking." That doesn't make much sense, either, because when I do that, I'm told, "We'll get an animal control officer over there when one becomes available." When will that be? I ask. "Could be a couple of hours." By then, the dog's inside and the owner's at work and I look like a liar.

I don't know what the solution to bad neighbors, inconsiderate neighbors, awful dog owners and boorish people is, but I sure wish I had one.



  1. You could learn to play a musical instrument loudly... and horribly... for 15 minutes at 5:45 AM every morning until she gets the point and talks to you about it. I go outside with my dogs in the morning to feel the cool, crisp air with my cup of joe... when they start barking... we come inside.

  2. Amanda: Problem with the bugle is that it wakes the rest of my neighbors, the ones who are not obsessing about a dog peeing--but not willing to take it for a short walk--at 5:45. If the offending neighbor had any thought about group living (and what else is a neighborhood), she'd walk the damn dog. If she cared about the dog, she'd walk it. If she were a responsible human being, she'd walk it (with poop pickup bags).