Yes, you can call the police if there is a dog that is barking all night. However, it is important to note that what you can do and what you should do are sometimes two different things.
Instead of calling the police immediately, try other steps to remediate the situation. Chances are that you will need to interact with the barking dogs’ owner. Sometimes those conversations can be unpleasant.
Continue reading to learn about steps you can take to mitigate a barking dog situation you may find yourself in.
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Check Your Local Laws and Ordinances
The first thing that you should do when you are faced with a dog that is barking all night is to look up your local laws and ordinances surrounding dogs. Cities and towns will oftentimes write entire sections dedicated to the ownership of pets throughout the city limits.
If you don’t live in an incorporated city or town, see what your county laws are and check with the county courts if you are still unsure.
Speak to the Owner
If you’re having an issue with a barking dog all night, most likely it is a neighbor whose dog is causing the problem. The first step in getting both the dog and yourself, some relief is to speak with the dogs’ owner directly.
Knock on the door and politely introduce yourself. See if you can find out more information about the dog. Is there a reason that it is outside? Does it have adequate food, water, and shelter?
Try asking politely if there is a way to have the dog inside at night, while others are trying to sleep. This isn’t a guaranteed method, but it never hurts to simply ask. If the dog owner is unwilling to compromise, don’t push the issue.
Take Proper Safety Precautions
If the dogs’ owner is unapproachable in a way that feels safe to you, it is imperative that you do not confront the dog owner regarding the dog at any time.
If you do not feel that you can safely speak to the dogs’ owner, call the police and lodge a noise complaint against the address. If the police come and issue a warning to the dogs’ owner, either they will bring the dog in or continue to leave the dog to bark.
If Police Warnings Are Not Followed
If the police issue a warning for the barking dog and the dog owner does not comply, you can call the police again and they should visit the owner again. On the second visit, police will most likely issue a citation for the noise.
While you can continue calling the police when the dogs’ barking starts to become incessant, it is important to remember that as long as the dog is being properly cared for, the most that the owner is likely to be responsible for are monetary fines.
If your barking dog owner is relatively wealthy, this may not stop as soon as you would like. For most people, however, the monetary fines are enough of a deterrent to getting your neighbors to bring their dogs in at night.
Cases of Neglect
If in the unfortunate situation the dog is not being properly cared for, you may want to consider calling your local animal control department to anonymously report a neglect case to the authorities.
In most towns and cities throughout the U.S., there is a separate animal control department that will handle these calls. Check your local county website to find the closest one to you.
If you live in an area where there does not happen to be a dedicated animal control department, reach out to your local law enforcement authorities and report the situation.
How to Call Police
If you choose to call the police to get them involved in your barking dog problem, be sure to use the non-emergency line. Unless someone is actively injured please do not call 911.
You can easily find the non-emergency police line in your local area by a quick google search. This site provides all of the details of non-emergency contacts for large and small cities across the United States.
Be sure to keep all of your records pertaining to the incident. Log the call times of when you reported your complaints, names and ID numbers of anyone you spoke with and any other relevant information.
This information can be stored in a simple notebook. Just be sure to keep everything together in one place in case you need it in the future.
What if Police Don’t Help?
If you call the police to intervene in your barking dog situation and there is nothing they can do, you may have other options available at your disposal to deal with the unpleasant situation.
If you live in a neighborhood with an HOA or Home Owner’s Association, you can reach out to them for help too. This is especially true if the nuisance dog is in the same neighborhood.
HOA’s usually have laws and ordinances that are unique to the individual neighborhood and are governed by residents within the same development. Check the covenants of the home owner’s association contract.
Usually, HOA’s will have rules about excessive barking dogs. If they do, you may find that you have recourse within your HOA to help your situation. Warnings and stiff penalties are often doled out by HOA’s for instances like this.
The Last Resort – Bark Trainers
If you have used all of the above methods to try and solve your neighbor’s barking dog but none of them have proved effective, you can get devices that are specifically designed to stop your neighbor’s dog (and yours if you have one) from barking.
Bark trainers, like this one, use ultrasonic sound waves to interrupt and stop a dog from barking. Though it was originally intended to use as a training device for your own pet, the ultrasonic waves reach a range of up to 40 to 60 feet and can pass through walls.
Place one of these units as close to the barking dogs’ property as possible. Once turned on, the device will monitor for dog barks. When the dog starts to bark, the machine will deploy ultrasonic waves that give an unpleasant sound to the dog.
This method is effective, humane, and might just let you get a good night’s sleep.