Barking Dogs

Dear Liz,

I know you’re a dog expert and not a marriage counselor, but my wife and I need your help.  We’re at odds about what to do over a neighbor’s dog who barks all the time… is left outside all the time, etc.  Its borderline abusive, but neither of us know how to handle and we end up arguing about it?

Signed,

No more puppy love!

Dear Puppy;

Well, hopefully I can at least shed some light on what to do!  You’re right with the abuse, but it’s not a borderline.

Connecticut General Statues says that a dog is not to be tied, tethered or kenneled 24/7.  It’s a new law that has come into play within the past few years and it’s a good one.  So in that instance, the dog is being abused (or better put, neglected).  You are right to be concerned on this one.

Now the dog is also barking all the time which is another issue you’ve brought up.  That, in itself, is also a violation of Connecticut General Statue.  It falls under the Nuisance Dog law, which states that a dog is not to be allowed to bark excessively.

It sounds like a call to your town’s animal control officer is needed, first to assess whether or not the dog is being neglected or in physical danger, and second to address the issue of the barking.  The animal control officer can take the appropriate action to ensure the problem is solved.  In most towns, you can place a call and say that you’d like to remain anonymous if you feel it would cause a problem with your neighbor.  Advise the police dispatcher or the animal control officer that you’d rather not have your neighbor know it was you that called and they should honor your wishes.

If your animal control officer does take action but the problem persists, you might have to call again until things are resolved.

Another way to deal with it, if you’re friendly with your neighbor, is to bring up the dog in casual conversation.  Ask the neighbor how the dog is, etc., and see how the neighbor reacts.  If it’s a negative reaction (as in “That dog is going to drive me crazy – it just barks and wrecks the house…”) see if you can offer to help place the dog or refer the owner for help.  It depends on how involved you really want to get with the situation.

In either case, involvement is obviously needed here.  The dog’s barking will not stop until someone brings attention to the issue and gets it solved.  Until this problem is resolved, no one (you, your wife, the neighborhood and the dog) will be happy.

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