Nine Forty-Three Fourteenth Street HOA

Barking Dogs

Posted in: UHRA



Terms like selfishness, rudeness and arrogance are a little strong.  Personally I saw none of those in his/her comment.  Since when is wanting to enjoy peace and quiet in one's home a sign of selfishness?  Its also not an issue of "getting his way" - people have a right to peace and quiet in their homes, and barking dogs constitute a public nuisance.  That's why the analogy with a crying baby is so laughable - crying babies aren't considered a public nuisance.  Barking dogs are.  You are asking for the victim to show compassion to the perpetrator.  Seems backwards to me.   

Name calling rarely leads to any solution. The truth is constant noise, and especially if it is disturbing the peace of the neighborhood, can cause all kinds of stress, sleeplessness, anger, and ultimately can lead to things like heart attacks or other kinds of attacks (not in the natural). If a person has tried everything else, talking to the neighbor or leaving them a note, sonic silencers., fog horns, and contacting animal control and there seems no hope, try small claims court. Record the sound and/or make a log, write down all efforts (the hearing officer will want to know that you contacted the owner AND animal control and got no satisfaction), and ask for nuisance damages. The limit in small claims is $10,000, and though I am not suggesting asking for that, if you have any medical evidence to offer of a stress related condition, mention that too. I am not for getting something for nothing, but having a dog owner served with a small claims court hearing notice (which you can do by certified mail OR a marshal, will get their attention. It is unfortunate, but having had experience in court helping a man who could not sleep in  his own bedroom because the neighbor dogs were allowed to frolic and bark all night in a room next to his, and having a friend who asked a neighbor to do something about her barking dogs that barked nonstop in the afternoons and having the "nice" neighbor reply -"I am home all day and would hear them if they barked,"  I am convinced that sometimes people have to take responsibility themselves to move to the next step.

I am seeing a different side to all of this. Lots of us have dogs who occasionally bark ... Yes occasionally. A few minutes here and there and that's all there is. Most good dog owners who love their dog would never leave them home alone. My dog has NEVER been left unattended - ever. I do this to protect him from others who would do him harm. Then there is the type of neighborhood bully (usually a coward) who is constantly blaming you and your dog for every noise that ever happens. Your mother in law passes gas outdoors and it becomes a wild night of dog barking. I think the people who make these things up have ego issues where they feel compelled to manage their neighbors. If it wasn't a dog, it would be the way you drive down the street. The problem is that they truly believe there is a problem. A once a month "woof woof" while you take your dog out to do their business (just like we occasionally do in the middle of the night), becomes a barking dog problem. I have a dog who is with me 24//7, or I get an overpaid babysitter to pamper them beyond belief. If they are ever left overnight, they get the full overnight spa treatment at the babysitter of their choice. But I occasionally encounter a neighbor who wants to find something they don't like about everyone - so they label my dog a problem. These people are worse to deal with than street gangs. How do you prove your dog did NOT do something? Now the neighborhood is filled with other dogs (coyotes too), and I live so far away from this person that they could never possibly know if it was me walking my dog with the occasional woof woof, or my mother in law who can make sounds out the other end resembling a bark! All jokes aside, people like my neighbor abuse people like me by constantly blaming them for things we never have any part of. I could hire a lawyer the next time I receive a complaint, and take this guy to court (and not small claims) and make him wish he had never opened up his mouth. It would be a minor inconvenience to me, and likely put him into chapter 11! But I have better things to do with my life, so I ignore him. In some ways I feel sorry for someone acting so pitifully empty. I learned years ago that to engage people like this just encourages them. But after literally years of occasional complaints (he never comes calling here to talk like an adult), I really wonder if he doesn't deserve financial hardship for having such a bad attitude. It is acceptable in business, why not in the neighborhood? I guess what i am saying is that it works both ways. Most people posting here have really severe dog problems to deal with. But the flip side is the occasional goofball who uses the lack of animal's rights to harass their owner. What is someone like me to do? Do I keep on listening to it, or have this guy served with papers to either put up or shut up? I don't want to see him lose his shirt, but then again he has grated on my nerves with false accusations for a very long time. I can prove my dog is with me 24/7 (or getting spa treatment by a 20 year old college girl). This guy wouldn't recognize me on the street . It's a really hard call. All I can say is that there is more than one side to these problems. There are more like 3 or 4. For every law, there is someone who wants to abuse it. I have done some not so nice things in my life, but disturb neighbors with a dog is not one of them. So, what do I do ... Take this guy to court and make him learn his lesson, or do I restrain myself and keep on acting civilized? It's not an easy call.
One more thing ..Californiacondo... You really need to be sure that your accusations are correct and verifiable. You may think you have it right, but you could be terribly wrong. If you are wrong, and the person you go after has the funds (and it usually is impossible to tell that in advance) this guy could make you life a nightmare. Yes, it's easy to get the police or animal control involved. But if they find you in error, they will run away from you like you were diseased. You will end up with no one to back you. And if the person you have accused is of the mindset - remember small claims court in most states is for claims less than $10k. If the guy can hire an attorney, he will drag you into the court where the big kids play. You can count on $50k in legal fees to defend your actions. Even if you win, that money is not recoverable. Just watch out!
Again Californiacondoguru - you seem to lack understanding of human nature. Passive-aggressive behavior on the part of a neighbor indicates a total lack of concern for what is going around him. People are living in his world, and not all together. If he will not communicate, the best you can get him to do is to pretend at best. You could prove to him that the world is round and he will still think its flat. What I am hearing from this poster is that his neighbor is a "rescue dog" himself. Likely many inhuman and horrible things have been done to him at a young age and he is reacting to the world from that experience. Rescue dogs bark out of fear, and usually in unfamiliar environments or when they sense hostility around them. The irony is that a formerly abused dog rarely will be mean spirited to those animals (human and other) around him. That is a behavior distinctive to humans alone. Barking dogs can be a nuisance, but angry humans can be a far more dangerous nuisance. That is why law enforcement of any type stays clear unless the case is very obvious. They don't want to create a problem or make one worse. You say that communication is two sided. It seems clear that the poster has made attempts at communication, but the opposition has ignored them. He is not expecting the neighbor to contact him, but rather he is expecting the neighbor to accept his overtures for communication. When you ask to talk and are ignored, the only sensible thing to do is keep your distance. You can't teach people who are unwilling to listen. You have to go about your day and take your cues from him. But to adopt a rescue dog is an admirable thing to do. You sacrifice a great deal of time and effort to help what most humans deem inferior. If only there were more open minded people like that in the world!
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