NUISANCE is defined as: “Excessive barking that deprives others of the comfortable enjoyment of their homes. When the barking is loud, frequent and continues over a long period of time, it is legally defined as a “Public Nuisance”. NOTE: occasional barking is not a nuisance.
Prior to completing a nuisance complaint form, please explore alternative solutions as you will need to liv near this neighbor for a long time and you do not want this to be a dividing issue. We suggest working things out with your neighbor on your own, before requesting the assistance of Animal Services.
“I’VE HAD ENOUGH!"
Sound familiar? But before you file a complaint or leave a nastygram in their mailbox, remain calm and give the owner the benefit of the doubt. Pet owners are often unaware their dog barks, for example, when the leave for work. What to do:
1. Assume they don’t know their dog is barking. Let them know about it, but don’t go knocking at their door upset. Bring it up delicately, perhaps when you see them taking out the trash. If you’re angry, they’ll get defensive and they won’t listen. If you are part of an HOA (Home Owner’s Association) you can contact them to make them aware.
2. Leave them a note, but not a nastygram. Again, give them the benefit of the doubt and assume they are unaware of their dog’s barking. Here’s a good example of a letter to leave them. →
I wanted to let you know that your dog misses you when you are away and he tends to bark quite a bit until you return home. I am an animal lover also, and I wanted you to know he misses you.
I was wondering if it would be possible to keep them indoors when you’re away. While the occasional barking is understandable, it has become somewhat of a regular thing occurance.
Anyways, I hope you’re well and please let me know if I can help out in any way.
Your Friendly Neighbor,
3. If communicating with your neighbor has not stopped the barking, you may complete a Complaint Form at the bottom of this page. Within 24-72 hours, VCAS will verify all of the information, check the license and vaccination status of all animals involved, and send a letter to the animal’s owner/keeper. The complaining party (you) will not be named in the letter. The letter is mailed and will state that a complaint has been received. It will explain the city’s ordinance regarding, in this case, barking dogs. The letter will request voluntary compliance within seven (7) days, and will state potential further enforcement steps that may be taken if the issue is not resolved.
4. After a reasonable amount of time, if the barking persists, you may contact Ventura County Animal Services a second time. A citation may be issued pursuant to county ordinance 4467-12 provided the complaint meets or exceeds the parameters indicated in the ordinance. Please remember that occasional barking is not consider a “nuisance.”
Process to Declare a Dog a Public Nuisance
Ventura County Animal Services (VCAS) enforces local ordinances prohibiting the ownership or maintenance of animal nuisances in the unincorporated areas of Ventura County and in the cities of Camarillo, Fillmore, Moorpark, Ojai, Port Hueneme, Simi Valley and Ventura. The ordinances, while different in varying degrees, all address certain animal activities that can be construed as public nuisance behavior such as excessive barking, infliction of injury to a person or other animal, destruction of property and vicious or threatening behavior. Please read the ordinance for your jurisdiction in its entirety before proceeding further.
- If the barking problem continues after ten 10 days, you can file a Public Nuisance Complaint by calling (805) 388-4341 and requesting a Public Nuisance Complaint packet. In order to proceed, two (2) or more adult neighbors must be willing to sign the Public Nuisance Complaint.
- Along with submitting the Complaint form, you and your co-complainant(s) need to submit separate “bark” logs on which you have recorded dates and times of nuisance barking over a minimum 5-day period.
- Upon receipt of the completed Complaint Form and corresponding “barking” logs, a Hearing Notice will be sent or delivered to the owner/keeper of the alleged nuisance dog(s). This letter defines the public nuisance laws and notices the legal proceedings that are to follow, including the date, time and location of the hearing. Since this is a public hearing process, the owner/keeper of the animal is legally entitled to request copies of any documentation pertaining to the complaint. The co-complainants will also receive notice of the hearing date, time and location.
If any party in the action is unable to attend the hearing at the date/time scheduled, they should immediately contact VCAS to request a postponement. Each party involved is granted one (1) postponement.
At any time during the process, if the situation is resolved and a complainant wishes to withdraw their request for a hearing, please contact VCAS immediately. The complaint will remain on file but inactive for a period of one (1) year. Should the situation reappear, the complainant need only send in an updated barking log and a written request to reinstate his/her complaint. After one (1) year, if we do not receive any further correspondence or complaints on the matter, the case will be considered closed and the files purged.
Nuisance – Excessive barking that deprives others of the comfortable enjoyment of their homes. When the barking is loud, frequent and continues over a long period of time, it is legally defined as a “Public Nuisance”.
Nuisance Complaint Form
Please only complete this form if you have made an attempt to resolve the issue on your own. Consider the fact that you will need to live near this person for a long time and you do not want this to be a dividing issue. Again, please try to defuse the situation on your own if possible.