Can Animal Control Take My Dog for Barking?
When you absolutely love your dog but just can’t seem to get them to stop barking, it can feel frustrating and defeating. Some dogs can’t help but bark at mail carriers and other strangers walking by. Some dogs bark out of boredom or for attention, and other dogs just seem to love barking for no reason at all.
If the barking situation with your dog is particularly dire, you may have issues with your neighbors. Hopefully, your neighbors have come to you with their concerns and complaints before involving the police or animal control.
However, some people feel the need to take extreme measures if their quality of life is significantly affected by constant barking in their neighborhood.
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What Happens if a Neighbor Calls Animal Control?
If someone in your neighborhood feels the need to contact animal control due to nuisance barking, the results of this call will depend largely on the state in which the complaint is being made, how loud and often the dog barks, and whether someone made a complaint against you before for the same reason.
In most cases, the first call to animal control for excessive barking will count as the first strike against you. If you take measures to improve the excessive barking and your neighbors are satisfied, you’re not likely to receive any other strikes with animal control, and there’s almost no chance that they will take your dog away from you.
Only in the most extreme and serious cases will animal control take a dog away from its owner due to barking. Usually, they reserve this extreme measure for cases where the dog poses a threat to its owner, other people, or other domesticated animals in the neighborhood.
However, if animal control gives a dog owner multiple warnings to improve their dog’s barking and still does not take action, their neighbors could try to elicit a serious response from animal control or take action through small claims court.
Ways to Improve the Situation
If you know your barking dog is causing a nuisance in the neighborhood, you’re likely interested in improving the situation for your sake, your dog’s sake, and the sake of the community. Luckily, there are several steps you can take to avoid serious action by your neighbors and never have to face the idea of losing your furry friend.
Connect with Your Neighbors
Though excessive barking itself can be obnoxious and bothersome for neighbors, they’re likely to react more strongly if they feel that you, as the dog owner, don’t care about their discomfort or aren’t willing to help the situation.
That’s why it’s so important to connect with your neighbors on a personal level. Let them know you sympathize with their problem and are doing your best to improve it. This way, your neighbors are more likely to have empathy toward your struggles as the dog’s owner and less likely to take extreme measures, such as calling animal control.
Know the Law
The laws surrounding noise nuisances, especially when it comes to animals, vary from state to state and even from county to county or city to city. Make sure you know the law surrounding these issues in your region.
Take special care to understand when it’s appropriate for animal control to step in. This will help you manage relationships with your neighbors as you work on your dog’s barking, especially if they are threatening legal action.
Make Sure Your Dog Has What They Need
Like we mentioned above, some dogs seem to simply enjoy the sound of their own voice. However, most dogs with a significant barking problem are lacking some basic necessities.
Is your dog left alone for too long at a time? Is your dog bored or under-stimulated? Does your dog have their basic needs met, such as food, water, and shelter?
If your dog is properly fed, watered, and exercised, they’re less likely to have a problem with nuisance barking. Additionally, if your dog tends to bark in a territorial manner toward passersby, you may need to simply limit the access they have to a view of the outdoors.