Pasadena Humane understands that excessive barking dogs and noise created by other pets can have a negative effect on the quality of life in your neighborhood. Unfortunately, there is no immediate solution to complaints of excessive animal noise because law enforcement and animal control officers cannot take legal action unless the pet in question has been declared a “public nuisance”. Please read on to learn more about the process to have a pet declared a public nuisance.
PUBLIC NUISANCE PETITION
The process to declare a neighbor’s pet (or pets) a “public nuisance” is as follows:
A person who is directly affected by excessive barking must sign a petition and collect the signature of at least two additional neighbors who are also directly affected. Everyone who signs the petition must complete a 7-day log documenting each date and time they hear the pet creating the excessive noise. NOTE: Complainants must provide the exact address of where the animal resides. A minimum of 3 signatures are required for the petition; every person who signs the petition must complete a 7-day log; and everyone who signs the petition and completes a log must be at least 18 years of age and live at a separate address from each other. In addition, everyone who signs the petition and completes a log must be willing and able to attend a hearing and testify against the dog owner.
FILING AN ANIMAL NOISE COMPLAINT
If you live in one of Pasadena Humane’s 11 service cities, the following is the process to declare a neighbor’s pet a “public nuisance”:
Step 1: Complete the Animal Noise Complaint Form
Step 2: Pasadena Humane will make a reasonable effort to find resolution to the reported problem by contacting the pet’s owner or guardian, advising them of the complaint and providing them with advice on how to resolve the matter. Most complaints are successfully resolved via communication and education.
Step 3: If the matter is not resolved after the pet owner has been advised of the complaint, and the complainant wishes to move forward with the complaint, the complainant must begin the formal process to declare the pet “a public nuisance” by completing the forms (a blank petition and logs) that will be provided by Pasadena Humane.
Step 4: Once the complainant and each neighbor have completed and signed the petition and logs, the forms must be submitted to the Pasadena Humane’s Animal Care & Control Department. NOTE: All forms must be fully completed with the complainant’s full name, address and phone number and must be signed and dated by all parties. Incomplete or unsigned forms will not be accepted. Complainants must be willing and able to attend and testify at a hearing.
Step 5: Once Pasadena Humane has received the completed forms, verified that they are complete and that everyone who signed them is willing and able to attend a hearing, the case is forwarded to the City or to the County (depending on jurisdiction) for review and consideration for a hearing.
Barking is a way that dogs communicate with each other and with humans. But, excessively barking dogs can become a problem for neighbors.
Dogs bark for a variety of reasons. Here are some recommendations to reduce your dogs barking:
- Leave your dog indoors when you are gone. Dogs left unattended outdoors are more prone to bark out of boredom or to alert bark at perceived threats.
- Close windows and limit visual access to outdoor stimuli that cause your dog to alert bark. Turning up the TV or radio might help too.
- Dogs are social animals. Limit the amount of time your dog is left alone by hiring a dog walker or asking a neighbor to come by to visit. Doggy day care facilities may be appropriate for some dogs.
- Access to a yard (even if it’s large) is not enough! Mental stimulation and exercise are very important parts of your dog’s daily routine. By walking your dog daily, you are providing them with exercise as well as enrichment. Sniffing the environment can reduce stress.
- Boredom busters: Along with exercise, providing new and fun things for your dogs to interact with daily can help to prevent excessive barking.
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