Animal noise, especially barking dogs, is a common problem in neighborhoods. Unfortunately, the subjective nature of this type of disturbance can lead to hard feelings between neighbors. Lakewood Animal Control's goal is to help resolve the problem by encouraging neighbors to work together to find a reasonable solution - emphasizing that communication is the first step.
Animal Control does not respond to anonymous animal noise complaints because the likelihood of resolving the issue is minimal.
Your Dog is the Problem Barker
• If you are approached by either a neighbor or an Animal
Control officer about an animal noise issue with your pet, it is important to
correct the problem quickly to avoid a summons. Being proactive will avoid
legal action and promote good relations with neighbors.
•Dogs bark for many reasons, including boredom, neglect,
loneliness or protection of its territory. Suggestions to deter barking are
listed below. An animal trainer may also be a good resource.
•Bring your dog inside the house when you leave. Many dogs
bark when you are not at home.
•Put the dog in a confined area, such as a
temperature-controlled garage or kennel area. Always make sure the dog has
water and shelter from the weather.
•Anti-bark collars are another option when used responsibly.
Consult a dog trainer to learn about proper use.
•It is the owner's responsibility to determine the cause of
barking and curb it. Do not ignore the noise, no matter what time of day.
•Training is the key to a happy, well-adjusted dog. Spending
time with your pet, and making it a member of the family, can solve many animal
Your Neighbor's Dog
•Animal Control suggests speaking with the animal's owner
about the ongoing disturbance. Remember, it is unreasonable to expect complete
silence, and most pet owners do not want their pet to be an irritation. They
may not realize that their pet's barking is a problem, especially if it happens
when the owner is not at home. The problem can often be solved with a
neighborly conversation. It is not productive to yell at the dog and assume the
owner will address the barking problem. It's important to speak to a
responsible adult at the residence, not the children or teenagers of the home.
•Contact Animal Control if a neighborly conversation is not
possible, or if you have spoken to them and the problem persists. We will ask
you questions about the disturbance, including the address of the animal, the
duration and frequency, a description of the animal and how you know it is the
one causing the problem. Answers to these questions will determine the extent
of the problem and whether it violates sections of Lakewood's noise ordinance.
You will then be asked to document disturbing episodes, recording the dates,
times and durations. Animal Control will either post an official complaint
notice on the owner's door or directly contact the owner.
•There may be many reasons why an owner fails to curb a
pet's excessive barking. If warnings are ineffective and the owner does not
take action to curb the disturbance, it may be necessary to file a summons
complaint, which requires an owner to pay a fine or appear in court with a not
guilty plea. If the case goes to trial, you may be called as a witness. Another
option is to request mediation from the court.
•To file a complaint, Animal Control will need your full
name, address and phone contact information, a detailed description of the
animal, exact address, dates, times and durations of the violation. You must be
able to identify the animal causing the disturbance.