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Patch Blog: Are Barking Dogs Driving You Crazy?

What can be done if barking dogs become a public nuisance.

Are barking dogs driving you nuts? OK, maybe not right this minute, but from time to time?

If so, I really sympathize. In years past I, too, had been bothered by neighborhood dogs. One of them would go on for hours and hours, starting as early as 3 a.m. I circulated a flyer, put it into mailboxes, with pretty much the same info as here, and it seemed to help. It may be my imagination, but things got quieter.

A few days ago, another pooch started up and kept going like the Energizer Bunny, which reminded me that maybe other residents in Eagle Rock are also beset by the same problem. Climate change—my usual topic—is put aside for this blog.

I imagine that, in your own dear Eagle Rock, on an otherwise blissful Saturday or Sunday morning, a yapping pooch goes on and on for hours. Maybe it’s a squirrel or cat. Maybe it’s loneliness—or rage against the machine. Maybe it's another dog—who is also barking.

But, you worked hard all week. You're entitled to some simple quiet, no? You need a break—not a bark!

The dog's owner may be out, or perhaps simply doesn’t mind what, to you, is a loathsome noise. I'm sure the great majority of dog owners wish to be considerate toward others.

So, let them know how they can help.

How about a note to the owner, respectful in tone, describing the problem: When the barking started, when (and if) it ended, how it affects you, and then a simple request to try to solve the problem.

I was lucky in that I had exactly this problem some time ago with a neighbor's dog (he didn't get the memo). I even recorded the yapping. Then I wrote a letter to my neighbor, and—lo and behold—the problem was solved. Case closed.

If you don’t get a positive response and feel as though you've been barking up the wrong tree, you might like to know what the Los Angeles Municipal Code says:

It is against the law for a dog owner, or anyone in control or custody of a dog, to allow the dog to make excessive noise, after receiving a legal notice of the noise complaint and a request to make it stop. The term 'excessive noise' means noise which is unreasonably annoying, disturbing, offensive, or which unreasonably interferes with the comfortable enjoyment of life or property of one or more persons occupying property in the community or neighborhood. This law does not apply to a commercial animal establishment with a legal permit. (LAMC 53.63).

Yes, the law is on your side. 

If your note falls flat, you can contact the Department of Animal Care. You may view the contact info by clicking this link.

Animal Care officials will talk with the owner. If the problem continues, they will consider further actions.

Their website has some valuable information for owners, such as why dogs bark and what the owner can do to improve things. It’s a good idea to include the Department of Animal Care website in your note.

Here’s some more information from their website:

“Part of responsible dog ownership is ensuring that your dog is not a nuisance to others. Barking is a natural dog behavior and most people want their dogs to bark to alert them to potential danger. However, owners who permit their dogs to bark excessively are permitting a public nuisance to occur and can be fined or issued citations.”

These actions might keep Eagle Rock blissful—for yourself and your neighbors.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Susan R March 10, 2012 at 05:03 PM
Against the law to have your dog bark but it is alright to have Catholic church bells bang into your home all day long? This is so wrong. I am a noise victim. http://highlandpark-ca.patch.com/blog_posts/patch-blog-i-am-a-noise-victim
jayres March 10, 2012 at 05:39 PM
When I read the headline about barking dogs driving you crazy, the first thing that I thought was, "Speaking of crazy, I wonder if Susan R will use this as an opportunity to continue her crusade against Divine Savior Catholic Church?" And not to disappoint, there it was Susan R complaining about church bells that have been ringing for over a hundred years. She is pissed because she didn't do her due diligence when she bought her house. Its like people who move next to the airport and bitch about the sound of the planes taking off. What's really sad is that I think I am spending too much time on ER Patch, when the writing habits of others have become this predictable.
Susan R March 10, 2012 at 05:45 PM
Well, J if you should do some research before you speak. I was lived here BEFORE the church put up that nasy amplified sound system. They did not ask my permission or included me in any conversation about putting up that system. They just did it. It was rude and very mean. They did not care if any neighbor had a problem with it. No. They just said "look at we can do" like a little kid brat gettting their way. They had opportunities to go to mediation and they refused. They are selfish and just want their way. They refuse to compromise. Noise is a crime. I am a noise victim. If you like their amplified sound system I suggest you take it home with you to enjoy and leave it out of my home.
Susan R March 10, 2012 at 05:48 PM
Bells are over a hundred years old but we now have clocks and bells are no longer needed.
KKB March 10, 2012 at 09:07 PM
I moved to Eagle Rock adj (aka Highland Park) from the BH adj. I love living here and do not regret the move from the west side to the east. The only issue I have are the dogs. I am an animal lover and have several dogs of my own...however , I do not leave them outside all day and let them bark. The barking dogs on this side of town is nothing like I have ever experienced anywhere else that I have lived. The number of unleashed dogs is also alarming ( I have been bitten). I do not walk my dogs I. Te neighborhood because of all the other barking dogs in yards and the loose dogs. To me, this problem really does bring the neighborhood down a notch. Why is this a problem here but not the Beverly hills or south bay beach areas (locations where I lived prior to coming here)?
Susan R March 10, 2012 at 09:54 PM
KBB, the answer to your question is an easy one. No enforcement. In the areas you mentioned there is enforcement of the laws. In Northeast you get very little enforcement. Call the Lacy animal shelter if you find dogs running the streets. A lot of times they are lost and the owners are looking for them.
Bill March 13, 2012 at 07:46 AM
I hate the barking but I think I've grown accustomed to it and sort of forget about it sometimes. Recently my niece was staying at our house in N.H.P. and said one day, "Do those dogs EVER shut up"?
Susan R March 13, 2012 at 02:33 PM
See, there is proof that noise does bother people. Now, only if Divine Saviour Catholic church would get the message. Oh, I forgot they must all be deaf. But even the deaf can communicate. They just aren't smart enough to get the message or inconsiderate. I think they are both.
Jason March 13, 2012 at 04:46 PM
Is there such a thing as internet "noise" bothering people? If so, I think you're rapidly becoming the equivalent of a constantly barking dog, Susan. We get it: you have a problem with Divine Saviour. Is there really a need to bring them up several times a week on posts that have absolutely nothing to do with them? It gets tiresome.
Jan Freed March 13, 2012 at 05:49 PM
I don't know if the Animal Care officers will or won't respond to a complaint. I was lucky that a polite note received a considerate response. It got so quiet...what a joy!
Julie Walmsley March 14, 2012 at 02:50 AM
Jan, you are fortunate. I don't know the typical dog owners' response but I do know someone who has had the City called on her, and it definitely changed her behavior. Her example was a little extreme - 5 dogs barking aggressively at the back fence - but the fines and warnings got her attention. So, if a note doesn't work, calling Animal Control is worth a shot.
Susan R March 14, 2012 at 02:57 AM
Jason, if you get the message that there is a problem then why not help solve it? Call Father Marco Ortiz at Divine Saviour and tell him to turn off that noisy amplified sound system. If no one wants to help then yes I will keep on.
Jan Freed March 14, 2012 at 03:58 AM
Nice, Julie. Thanks for your encouraging comments about that extreme situation. Most owners don"t want to be a pain, but it's cool that help is out there.
Ejay Sing March 15, 2012 at 04:15 AM
I'll call for you Susan. Keep fighting.
Susan R March 15, 2012 at 03:03 PM
The church's phone number is 323-225-9181. Ask for Father Marco Ortiz and only speak with him.
Haley April 25, 2012 at 09:29 PM
I live in Eagle Rock, and there is ABSOLUTELY no enforcement. I am disgusted by the barking dogs, my neighbors, LAPD, and animal control. They are all (with the exception of the dogs, who are victims themselves) lazy, irresponsible, and nearly worthless. My neighbors have a shrill beagle, and some kind of emotionally disturbed mongrel that barks, snarls, and body slams the fence when I have the nerve to use my own yard. They wake us every morning, and a relaxing afternoon or a nap is out of the question. We have to leave our own home for peace. I resent my neighbors so much that I wouldn't piss on them if they were on fire, and that's a shame. Where I come from, neighbors were great friends who would run in a burning building for you. As far as Lacy st. They tell you to write them a letter before they will get off their incompetent bureaucrat asses. I came to this article looking for the address so i can end my 3rd one.
Julie Walmsley April 25, 2012 at 09:35 PM
I definitely relate to no such thing as a quiet afternoon. It seems to be agreed upon that late night noise merits complaint, but during the day it's unreasonable to complain. I have very loud neighbors. They neglect their dogs and scream quite viciously at their children.
Barry April 25, 2012 at 10:23 PM
Every time that dog so much as breaths heavy call the LAPD non emergency number 877-275-5273 and file a complaint they won't come but they start building a case this way. They can't go to the owner with a nuisance ordinance without documentation of a nuisance. Get your neighbors and eveyone that is inconvenienced to call as well. Squeaky wheel. Its a pain but it may be your only solution.
Jan Freed April 25, 2012 at 10:39 PM
I would be very upset, too, were I in your shoes. Your neighbors need to be responsible and have no right to make you miserable, day after day. Suggestions: 1. If you haven't write a letter to your neighbor and describe what is happening. 2. Record the barking and keep it for the county officers you will call onto the case (if you have a smart phone record it on that and email the file to the animal control people. The law requires the neighbor to respect your rights, and keep his dogs reasonably quiet. He or she could be fined and even lose the animal altogether. 3. if the animal control people are indifferent, send a copy of your complaint to Jose Huizar's office and document their indifference. 4. In the meantime you might try this. My neighbor's dog use to suddenly charge me (up to the chainl ink fence) and bark while I was peacefully walking or gardening in my yard. I bought a box of dog biscuits, spoke like a friend to him (he is "supposed" to repel intruders, but doesn't really know I am NOT one), and threw him a "cookie". After several months, he recognized me as "a friend" a barks much less at me.

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