Most dog owners view their pets as part of the family, providing an essential part of daily interaction, companionship and protection. Barking is a dog's form of communication. However, when a nuisance of persistent and loud barking or howling exists, it can be upsetting and annoying to those exposed to the noise. The average dog will bark for specific reasons, so do not assume that a dog's bark is a problem: it may be a warning, for instance if there is imminent danger (fire etc.) or to warn off intruders.
Excessive barking is one of the most common dog complaints reported to councils. Stratford-on-Avon District Council will deal fairly and transparently with such complaints. When complaints are received, the council has a duty under the provisions of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 to take reasonable steps to investigate the complaint. The council seeks to pursue an informal resolution via mediation.
If that fails, the council may consider taking enforcement action where the barking noise has been witnessed and found to amount to a statutory nuisance as defined in the above Act. An abatement Notice requires the dog owner to take steps to ensure that noise resulting from barking is reduced to an acceptable level. Failure to comply with an Abatement Notice could result in prosecution, with fines up to £5,000 where conviction is secured.
For further information, please contact Environmental Health: