Report A Barking Dog

A barking dog can become a nuisance problem experienced by members within the community and this can be very frustrating. When this problem occurs, here's what you'll need to know and do. 

Definitions

Barking Dog

“Barking dog means a dog that barks, bays, cries, howls, or makes any noise for an extended period of time to the disturbance of any person at any time of day or night, regardless of whether the dog is physically situated in or upon private property. Such extended period of time shall consist of incessant barking for 30 minutes or more in any 24-hour period, or intermittent barking for 60 minutes [accumulates to a total of 60 minutes] or more during any 24-hour period. A dog shall not be deemed a “barking dog” for purposes of this Article if, at any time the dog is barking, a person is trespassing or threatening to trespass upon private property in or upon which the dog is situated, or when the dog is being teased or provoked.”

Barking Dog Citation

Any Enforcement Officer has the authority to issue a civil citation to any Responsible Person for a barking dog violation that the Enforcement Officer did not see or hear occur based on a complaint, signed under penalty of perjury, lodged by a member of the community who has been disturbed by the barking dog. A Responsible Person to whom a civil citation is issued shall be liable for and shall pay to the County the fine or fines described in the barking dog citation when due.

Responsible Person

There may be more than one person responsible for a barking dog violation. A “Responsible Person” is defined as any one of the following: 

  1. A person who allows a barking dog violation to exist, whether through willful action, failure to act, or failure to exercise proper control over a barking dog.
  2. A person whose agent, employee, or independent contractor allows a barking dog violation to exist, whether through willful action, failure to act, or failure to exercise proper control over a barking dog.
  3. A person who is the owner of, and a person who is a lessee or sublessee with the current right of possession of, real property in or upon which a barking dog violation occurs.

CCAS recommends that neighbors make an attempt to resolve the problem with the nuisance animal owner or other responsible person prior to filing a formal complaint. Sometimes the Responsible Person is unaware of the noise and grateful for the opportunity to address the issue. If a formal complaint is submitted, CCAS will attempt contact with the Responsible Person in an effort to help in the resolution of the reported problem. We cannot help resolve this matter however, without your assistance. 

Steps to Take

You, as the Complainant, must initiate a complaint in writing by submitting a completed Barking Dog Complaint Form to CCAS. Once the complaint has been processed, CCAS shall attempt to contact the Responsible Person to explain the civil citation procedure and try to help resolve the situation.

The Responsible Person is given 10 days to resolve the situation.  If the situation still exists, you may file a second complaint with CCAS. If CCAS is not contacted within a reasonable time (as determined by CCAS) of the initial contact of the responsible party, the complaint will expire. Once the Complainant requests further action on a second complaint, CCAS shall initiate the issuance of a civil citation.

The purpose of issuing a civil citation is to encourage voluntary and complete compliance with the County code to eliminate barking dog nuisances. 

If the Complainant requests to have a civil citation issued, CCAS shall respond to the complainant’s residence. Before a citation will be issued, the Complainant is required to sign an affidavit under penalty of perjury that the barking dog has disturbed him/her, and the dog is a nuisance as defined by the definition of a barking dog.

The Complainant shall be advised of the necessity of attending the administrative hearing if the responsible person contests the citation. If the Complainant does not attend the scheduled hearing, the citation shall be dismissed in favor of the Responsible Person.

CCAS shall then attempt to contact the Responsible Person. The Responsible Person shall be advised of the second complaint and the request for a civil citation. CCAS shall advise the Responsible Person of the option of paying the fine and abating the nuisance or contesting the citation at the administrative hearing. The Responsible Person may opt to pay the fine immediately to the PEO on scene.

If there has been no contact made with the Responsible Person, CCAS may post a copy of the barking dog citation in a conspicuous place on the Responsible Person’s property where the barking dog violation occurred if the property owner and/or occupier’s name is unknown. CCAS may mail the civil citation by certified mail, return receipt requested if the property owner and/or occupier’s name is known but the violator is not present when personal service is attempted.  

The Responsible Person must pay the fine within 15 days or contest the citation at the administrative hearing. If the Responsible Person does not appear at the administrative hearing the fine will become due and payable. Payment of the fine shall not excuse the violator from correcting the barking dog violation.

It is the responsibility of both parties to bring a copy of all evidence presented to the hearing officer at the administrative hearing.

CCAS cannot guarantee anonymity to the complainant or the dog owner. CCAS does not provide the complainants personal information to the owner of the barking dog at the first step in the process. However, should the barking dog complaint process proceed beyond the first step, it may be necessary for CCAS to contact the complainant and/or dog owner for additional information. All information obtained is considered public information and may be disclosed to either party.

If after a citation is issued to the Responsible Party and the barking dog(s) stops barking or it no longer meets the barking dog criteria, the Complainant may wish to withdraw the citation and stop the process by filing a Waiver of Civil Citation. The Complainant has up to four (4) business days prior to the hearing to call CCAS and withdraw their complaint.