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Continued Defiance of Ticketed Perp Proves the Need for an Immediate Impound Policy

Barking dogs notch up £2,000 fine - and rising

The Daily Post - Liverpool - Southport, England - Written by Clare Usher - November 23, 2004

They are owner Alan Pigott's pride and joy - four prize-winning German Shepherd dogs which share his detached home on the edge of Merseyside's National Wildflower Centre.

Yesterday however Hugo, Bonnie, Rena and Pepie cost their 57-year-old owner more than £2,000.

And a court ruled that Mr Pigott will be fined an extra £100 for EVERY day his dogs continue to annoy his neighbours by barking.

Last night the IT and telecoms worker vowed not to pay, but nevertheless his dogs face an uncertain future.

Neighbours in the well-kept Bowring cul-de-sac where he lives say they have had enough, and a court has agreed with them.

Their complaints led to Mr Pigott being fined £1,000 plus £1,250 court costs and for every single day the dogs continue to annoy, a further £100 is added.

But proudly stroking the youngest German Shepherd - who has just won Best Pup in a national competition - Mr Pigott,, who pleaded guilty to the charge, spoke of his disbelief at the gripes.

He said: "I've been monitoring the dogs at the weekend and they don't bark for more than 10 seconds in total a day, they don't at all when I'm home.

"If I had one person knocking on my door in the 20 years I've lived here and complained about the noise I would have said 'I'll see what I can do', maybe move the kennels."

A display case full of trophies is testament to the dogs' achievement in shows around the country, particularly the youngest, 16-month-old Hugo.

His mother, Bonnie, has been exiled almost exclusively to the conservatory for the last nine months says her owner, as she is the most excitable of the pets, with Rena and Pepie in a run in the garden.

Mr Pigott's garden backs on to the entrance of the National Wildflower Centre which has a parkland area where residents can walk their dogs.

He added: "It's only been a problem since the council put an access road into the park and people walk their dogs. It annoys mine sometimes and with three bitches, other dogs can get the scent and they make noise. But it's not as bad as the teenagers screaming and shouting at night and motorbikes roaring through, even cars racing round the car park nearby."

Mr Pigott was served a noise abatement order under the Environmental Protection Act by Knowsley Council. When neighbours continued to be disturbed, the case went to court on Friday.

He added: "I'm not going to pay any fines. What can I do to stop them making a noise? "

Kathy Owen, one of the neighbours who gave evidence, painted a different picture.

She said: "Sometimes the dogs are absolutely manic, and I have had to go out just to get a bit of peace.

"This is supposed to be a residential area but sometimes it's like Battersea dogs' home.. You can't sit in your own home in peace, and sometimes you can't sleep because they start at all times of the morning."

Vivien Whittle, who has lived in Grange Wood Close with husband David for 19 years, said: "It's terrible. The dogs bark for nothing and they can go on all day long. "

But another resident, who declined to be named, said: "Sometimes the barking is a bit annoying, but on the whole it doesn't upset us. In a way, it deters burglars."

Knowsley Council's head of environmental health and consumer protection, Neil Turner, said: "This case highlights that we all need to show consideration for our neighbours and respect their rights to peaceful enjoyment of their homes."

This page is part of the News of the Usual Legal Run-around,
which is a component of the Barking Dog News and