Barking Dog Law
The barking dog law can vary a lot from state to state, as well as from country to country. It is therefore important to obtain information regarding the barking dog law in your particular region.
In most cases, it is best to talk to the dog owner before trying to use the barking dog law. Try to solve the problems early, before any authorities get involved. In some cases, it is however impossible to make the dog owner listen and you have to use the barking dog law. He or she may deny that the dog is barking, or claiming that barking is something that neighbours must learn to live with. In other cases, a disgruntled neighbour claims that a dog is barking when it is not, and in those cases it will naturally also be necessary to use the law. Trying in vain to talk to a dog owner or angry neighbour over and over again is usually a bad idea, since dog barking issues tend to evolve into something bigger as more and more feelings become involved. A case that started with a barking dog can end in eternal hostility between neighbours.
It is often a good idea to contact a barking dog law expert, since this legal area is quite complicated. Usually, there are a lot of emotions involved and a barking dog law expert can help you to protect your interests. He or she can also offer an unbiased estimation of the situation and explain to your about your rights and duties.
The barking dog law usually deals only with barking that is “loud, persistent and habitual”. It is natural for a dog to bark, and occasional barking will typically fall outside the scope of the barking dog law. Persistent barking on the other hand, is usually a sign that something is wrong and the barking dog law is designed to force the dog owner to take action and correct the problem. Persistent barking is common in dogs that are left alone too much. The barking is a way of trying to call the owner back. The owner can solve the problem by hiring a dog sitter, but many owners will not do so voluntarily, and must be forced by the barking dog law. Some dogs can not be left alone even for half an hour without excessive barking in whining. In those cases, the dog owner has not devoted enough effort to train the dog to be alone. This is another example of a situation when the barking dog law can force the dog owner to start taking more responsibility for the dog, or paying a heavy penalty for not doing so.
The first step after contacting a barking dog law expert is usually to contact the police department. In many parts of the world, there will be a municipal code against noisy dogs and the police can issue a warning. What happens next varies a lot depending on country, state and city. The dog owner can for instance be issued a municipal summons. You will then be required to appear in court to testify against the dog owner. The case will typically be stronger if several other neighbours can back up your statement. Your case will also be stronger if you are able to provide the court with evidence, e.g. a video where you can hear the dog bark. It is naturally important to make a good video that can be linked to the house where the dog lives.
Disclaimer: This text is meant as an introduction only and might contain errors. Always refer to a lawyer in your area to get the facts in your particular case.
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