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Sick of that barking dog next door? Riversiders can soon report the noise anonymously

By in Press Enterprise on October 27, 2017

By Ryan Hagen

Riverside residents sick of their neighbor’s incessantly barking dog — but worried what could happen if they complain — will soon have relief.

Starting Nov. 16, 30 days after the City Council unanimously adopted a new ordinance, the only thing an annoyed person need do is call Animal Control Services. An officer will be dispatched and, if the officer hears a noisy animal, they’ll issue a citation or warning.

Under the old policy, a person would have to provide their name and other information and would have to testify under penalty of perjury at a hearing about the noise.

Many residents were too intimidated by their neighbors to follow through on that process, said Councilman Mike Soubirous, who proposed the change.

“Realistically, this meant that if you complained about your neighbor’s dog, your neighbor would be told you called and filed a complaint,” Soubirous wrote on Facebook. “Most residents, when complaining about a noisy dog, would decline to ‘file’ as their neighbor would find out who filed and of course that would usually start neighbor problems. Most people would give up and the problem would continue.”

Of course, one bark isn’t enough to trigger the policy.

The ordinance defines a “noisy animal” as any animal whose “unprovoked excessive, unrelenting or habitual barking, howling, crying or other noises or sounds, occurring continuously and/or incessantly for a period of ten minutes or intermittently for one-half hour or more on five or more separate days within a thirty (30) day period” annoy a person in the area.

Once someone has received official written notice that they have a noisy animal, they will be required to stop the noisiness. That could include obedience training, restrictions on when the animal may be outside or debarking.

Some worry the change will mean more people giving their dogs to shelters after complaints, which […]    

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