OAK CLIFF ANIMAL INITIATIVE | LAW FOR PAWS
DOG BARKING 101 | News you can use
- Who to call?
- What to do?
- You just want it to stop so you can get some sleep!
Last December we held our first Laws for Paws meeting and we met with the SPCA, DAS, our Community Prosecutor and several other key players that helped us understand how our laws and ordinances work. The good news here is that you have multiple options. The bad news is that the City puts most of the work on you and it is probably going to take a little time and multiple complaints to get the issue resolved. Stick with it and you can get results and a good night sleep.
Of course, we recommend everyone should start with a polite conversation with the neighbors first. Their dog’s barking might not be disturbing them, so they might not know it is disturbing you. Hard to imagine, but it is often the case. If a courtesy conversation doesn’t do the trick, it’s good to know you have options.
YOU HAVE MULTIPLE OPTIONS
- Call 911 or
- Call 311 or
- File a complaint with the courts or
- Do a combination of these
The action from each group will be different, hopefully the result will be the same.
CHAPTER 30 is the noise ordinance the police department uses for barking dogs. If the 311 operator says that 911 will not come, site the code and politely remind them that it is an ordinance they need to respond to. Your call will be a low priority for the police, but they are required to come. Once on the scene, the police needs to hear the dog barking for 15 contiguous minutes to be able to write a ticket. (you can not provoke the dog)
ORDINANCE USED BY THE POLICE:
CITY OF DALLAS, TEXAS | CHAPTER 30 | NOISE
SEC. 30-1. NOISES INTERFERING WITH ENJOYMENT OF PROPERTY OR PUBLIC PEACE AND COMFORT.
No person shall make or cause to be made any loud and raucous noise in the city which is offensive to the ordinary sensibilities of the inhabitants of the city, which noise renders the enjoyment of life or property uncomfortable or interferes with public peace and comfort. (Ord. 13744)
SEC. 30-2. SAME – ENUMERATED.
The following acts, among others, are declared to create loud and raucous noises, and shall be deemed a violation of this chapter, but such enumeration shall not be deemed to be exclusive:…..
(c) The keeping of any animal or fowl which emits or makes a loud and raucous noise.
REPORTING TO 311
Call 311 or use the city’s online portal: (http://311.dallascityhall.com/CWI/ServiceRequest.mvc/SRIntake) to make a complaint. DAS uses a different ordinance than the police. They use SEC. 7-7.4.
Once a complaint has been filed through 311, DAS will mail a letter to the resident letting them know there has been a complaint filed.
CITY OF DALLAS WEBSITE | ANIMAL NOISE COMPLAINT FORM
Once the letter is filed by DAS, after three more complaints, DAS will go out to the property. They must witness the dog barking for 15 minutes to write a citation.
DALLAS ANIMAL SERVICES DISTURBANCE BY ANIMALS PROCESS
The image below if from DAS’ website on what to do for a barking dog. We would like to note: before you file a complaint with the Municipal Court, if there are three more complaints, you can request DAS visit the property. (see the process doc pictured above) If the dog barking happens at night, DAS will not come out the property. They will rely on the letter to do the work.
ORDINANCE USED BY DALLAS ANIMAL SERVICES:
SEC. 7-7.4. DISTURBANCE BY ANIMALS.
(a) A person commits an offense if he knowingly owns an animal that unreasonably barks, howls, crows, or makes other unreasonable noise near a private residence. Noise made by an animal is unreasonable under this subsection if the noise:
(1) continues more than 15 consecutive minutes; or
(2) exceeds the sound pressure level allowed in a residential district under the Dallas Development Code.
(b) A person who is disturbed by an animal that unreasonably barks, howls, crows, or makes other unreasonable noise near a private residence may file a disturbance complaint with the director. A disturbance complaint must include the name and address of the complainant, the location of the disturbance, the type of animal causing the disturbance, and the times that the animal is causing the disturbance.
(c) The director shall mail to the animal’s owner a notice that the disturbance complaint has been received. A copy of the notice must be mailed to the complainant.
(d) If, after receiving notice from the director that a disturbance complaint has been received, the owner continues to allow the animal to cause a disturbance:
(1) the complainant may file a complaint, in writing, with the city attorney; or
(2) the director may issue a citation to the owner for the violation of this section. (Ord. 26024)
WHO CAN WRITE A TICKET AND UNDER WHAT CIRCUMSTANCE?
- DPD or DAS can write a ticket.
- A DPD officer can write a ticket after witnessing the do barking for 15 minutes.
- A DAS officer can write a ticket after the first letter has been sent and three additional complaints have been submitted. Then they must witnessing the dog barking for 15 minutes.
FILE A COMPLAINT WITH THE COURTS
You can start with the courts right from the beginning, but it is best to have police or 311 reports as part of your evidence.
CAN YOU SUE YOUR NEIGHBOR OVER A BARKING DOG?
So that’s the ins and outs of how to get report a chronic barker and get a good night sleep. And if you own the chronic barker, here are some tips on how to keep your dog quiet.