Legal recourse for dealing with neighbors with loud dogs

Has anyone had any legal experience with dealing with neighbors with loud dogs that bark a lot?

For the past three years, I’ve had an ongoing situation with the family that lives behind me. They have big loud dogs that bark at god only knows what and at all sorts of hours. At first, I’d just go over and politely ask if they could do something about it. Nothing changed, and my complaints were increasingly met with hostility and even threats of violence. So eventually, me and a few other neighbors went through the proper channels appealing to the local animal control services. We had to file a series of complaints, which resulted in a sit-down at the animal shelter with us, the dogs’ owners, and an absolutely awful negotiator who spent most of the time telling us about her horses. The sit-down accomplished nothing, which brings us to the step where we file for a hearing that would result in the owners losing their license to own dogs.

However, I’ve just found out that the backlog for hearings means they won’t get to us until the end of the year. Which means many more months of loud dog barking.

Does anyone know if there’s any legal recourse to deal with a disruptive animal? Like some sort of civil suit? Animal services is such a slow-moving beast, and there’s really no hope left to appeal directly to the owners.

 -Tom

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Well since you live in the City of LA there are LAMC sections that the owners could be cited for. I don’t work till Friday but I can get you the information you need to take care of the problem. It may not be solved like today but it could be solved in a few days.

You could call the cops with a noise violation complaint, if it’s after a certain hour. Most cities and counties have them, you’ll have to look it up.

Actually in LA it doesn’t even need to be after a certain hour for the owners to be cited for Excessive dog barking. I think it is a pretty nasty ticket too although I’ve never had anyone ask me to talk to a neighbor about it.

I do feel your pain though as dogs that bark a lot are something that really irritates me.

While I am symphathetic to your problem, I would avoid a method that involves the owners losing the right to own dogs. There are few things that I would consider worse than having to give up my pets.

Getting them fined should result in them taking preventative measures.

Open their gates in the middle of the night. Express shock, SHOCK, the following morning when the neighbor tearfully tells you her dogs ran away the night before.

I want video of these dogs, because I am unable to shake the image in my head of Tom Chick, standing behind a picket fence, shaking his fists at a Shih Tzu.

I know, you said “big dogs.” Still! Throw us a bone here!

This sounds like it was really awkward, especially if the owners had previously been hostile.

Fuck that if they are shitty owners they don’t deserve the right to have their dogs.

Yeah, part of owning dogs is making sure they don’t annoy the living shit out of neighbors.

Just because their dogs are loud and they are nonresponsive to their neighbors complaints, doesn’t mean that they don’t take care of their dogs.

Or if you don’t want to do anything permanent, just toss over peanut butter covered elephant ears. That’ll shut them up for a few hours.

Actually, it does. It means that they’re not properly addressing separation anxiety or some other underlying condition. They could be crate training their dogs and teaching them that when people aren’t home they should be calm and quiet.

They may love their dogs, but part of loving and taking care of them is making sure they’re not a nuisance to the rest of the community.

Oh yeah and I am going to bet you could take them to small claims court or something if you were able to show good cause that the barking dogs caused you enough stress to miss work or sleep or something. I don’t know about that though.

Sounds like at least having actual police instead of a city official show up for noise ordinance violations might do something. I mean, anyone who says “You come over to my property to tell me to shut my dogs up again and I’ll beat your ass” is someone who probably doesn’t want the popo coming over to snoop around his/her property. Am I right?

Oh please, while all of that could be true, you are taking a lot of liberties about the situation. Taking the dogs away from the owners are a last resort kind of deal. Take action against the owners before you take action against the dogs. Seriously, getting them fined will make them take action pretty quickly I’m sure.

Unless of course you have evidence that they are honestly mistreating the dogs.

Plus if you get lucky they’ll take a swing at a cop and go to jail. Use people’s anger against them.

AND ANOTHER THING!

LA animal control sucks fucking ass. They are stupid fucks. I had a dog that was essentially abandoned by its owner and left with no food or water for at least two days by the time we got there. We called them and asked if they would come and get the dog and they said no they would not because the dog was not running around in the streets and thus not causing any problems.

We couldn’t catch the dog and take it to them because it was pretty afraid of us so the best we could do is find it some food give it some water and hope that the owner came back eventually.

Really they suck pretty bad.

A barking dog isn’t animal abuse, but persons who do not have the consideration to exert sufficient control over their animals in an urban environment should not be allowed to keep those animals in an urban environment. So, I’m sorry Scrax but I disagree with you.

If Tom’s neighbors fail to comply with whatever judgment is levied against them in the administrative hearing, the fine is only $250. I read this in the PDF below. I don’t know what the fine for not paying the fine is. Does animal control come and take the doggies to the shelter? I dunno!

http://www.laanimalservices.com/PDF/information/ADMINHEARINGGUIDE.pdf