This page is part of the Enforceable Law portion of Section Five:
which is the Activist section of

The following ordinance is a model barking law proposed for adoption by associates of The Dog Science Network.

Our Proposed New Barking Law

The County Shall Conduct a Vigorous Program of Barking Dog Prevention

It shall be the official policy of the county to acknowledge chronic barking as a threat to both the public health and the public safety, and in accordance with that recognition, to conduct a vigorous program of barking dog prevention.

The Board of Supervisors will, accordingly, ensure that all those who reside within the county limits shall be made aware of the following:

  1. The sound of a barking dog force-fed into a neighbor's living quarters represents a severe health hazard to all who dwell within.

  2. Within the county limits, it is illegal to allow your dog's voice to be projected into someone else's home or into the area where they are located.

The county shall ensure that the above information is disseminated through all of the methods listed below as well as through all other practical means:

  • posting on the county website
  • delivering the information to dog owners at the time the animals are licensed
  • requiring the acknowledgment of said information in writing prior to the issuance of a dog license
  • postings at the county animal shelters and other public buildings
  • postings on all animal control trucks
  • through verbal notification by sheriff's department and animal regulation officers whenever they encounter people who are accompanied by barking dogs
  • through as many interviews with and reminders to the media as can be arranged

Prohibited Conduct - The New Anti-Barking Ordinance

It shall be illegal for anyone to allow their dog's voice or any other sound produced by their dog, to be projected into human habitat, or for anyone to allow any sound produced by their dog to be projected into any location where any person finds that sound to be objectionable.

The County Shall Conduct a Vigorous Program of Barking Dog Abatement

County law enforcement shall respond to all reports of barking dogs with a conscientiousness that is consistent with a report of any hazard that poses a serious threat to the public health and safety.

Said Abatement Program Shall Include the Levying of Fines Utilizing the Following Procedures, Criteria, and Dollar Amounts

Any time a dog is witnessed by a Sheriff's Department or Animal Regulation Department employee, barking in a voice that is judged to be loud enough to carry into nearby human habitat or places of occupation, that alone shall be deemed all the proof necessary to consider the animal's vocal behavior to be problematic, and a ticket will be written to the dog's owner.

The fine for the first ticket shall be one-hundred-and-fifty dollars. Each subsequent ticket will increase by one-hundred dollars. If a third ticket is written, the owner's dog license will automatically be placed on probationary status.

Citizen's who wish to protest their innocence can appear before a county judge to present their side of the case, just as is done in traffic court.

Abatement Criteria and Procedure For Investigating and Removing a Barking Dog:

The identity of those filing complaints about barking dogs will be held in strict confidence.

Within about three weeks of the filing of a complaint of a barking dog by a citizen, the county shall investigate, intervene, and facilitate the removal or the silencing of any and all dogs that are found to be barking on the specified property and in the specified area, using the following procedure and criteria.

Whenever an employee of either the Sheriff's Department or the Department of Animal Regulation receives an initial complaint that a dog's voice is being projected into human habitat or a place of human occupation, an officer from the Sheriff's Department will be dispatched with all due diligence to inform the dog owner of the complaint. The officer will then require said dog owner to either confirm or deny that the animal is barking.

If the dog owner acknowledges that the dog has been barking, a ticket will be written

If the officer personally does not witness the dog barking and the owner denies that the animal's voice is being projected onto neighboring property, at that point, a behavioral assessment to test the dog's propensity to vocalize will be conducted.

If the behavioral testing fails to demonstrate that the dog's vocal behavior is problematic, and up to that point the investigation also has not shown that the dog's voice is being projected into the complainant's dwelling or place of occupation, either as a regular event or as a predictable occurrence, the complainant will have the option of personally retaining private security personnel - deemed credible by the Sheriff's department - to survey the property in the shortest possible time frame, and provide personal testimony as well as video or audio documentation to establish that the dog's voice is being force-fed into the complainants home or personal space as reported.

If the surveillance substantiates the complaint, the dog owner, whose false denial made the monitoring necessary will be fined. He will also be billed by the county for the cost of the surveillance and the amount will be forwarded to the complainant as reimbursement.

Once the continuing barking problem has been substantiated, the dog owner's dog license will be immediately placed on probationary status.

From the start of the probationary period, the dog owner will have twenty-one days to quiet his dog or dogs. However, the owner must agree to meet the following conditions for the full three-week probationary period.

Conditions of Probation

  • Unless someone is actively engaged in the process of bark training their dog by responding to his every bark, the animal must be kept in a location where he cannot be heard by the neighbors. Accordingly, if the dog is allowed to bark uncorrected within earshot of the neighbor's property, the owner will be fined, and the animal will be immediately impounded and held until the owner can meet with a judge to explain his lapse. At the discretion of the judge, a second chance may be granted. No third chances will be given.
  • After three weeks have passed, the dog must have either been silenced or moved permanently outside the jurisdictional limits.
  • If an additional complaint is substantiated within one year after the completion of the probationary period, the dog will be either impounded and put up for adoption or forever banned from the city limit.

If the dog owner refuses to comply with the established procedures and requirements at any point, then, either:

  1. The the dog must be permanently removed from the city limits forthwith or kenneled in a professional facility in preparation for the move.
  2. Or, the animal will be immediately impounded and put up for adoption.

To read about the thinking behind the structure of our barking law

Go to New Animal Control.Org for more information about animal control reform

This page is part of the Enforceable Law portion of Section Five:
which is the Activist section of