It’s a horrible feeling to be at your wits end with a neighbor’s barking dog. If you’re not on speaking terms with your neighbors or simply don’t feel safe or comfortable in talking to them about the problem, notifying authorities is often the next step that people look to take.
Depending where you live in the US, the process of reporting nuisance dog barking can differ wildly. Most authorities encourage neighbors to address the problem between them, while others have a specific process you can go through to report excessive barking.
This guide is based on information gathered from a range of sources about how and where you can report excessive dog barking if other methods have failed – I’m updating it regularly to include more locations.
New York City
The City of New York provides a noise complaint process and this involves, in specific circumstances, having the Department of Environmental Protection notify the offending dog’s owner within a seven day period of you submitting a complaint about barking. The City of New York allows you to submit a dog barking noise complaint online here.
The city of Seattle notes that people living in the city are expected to tolerate a reasonable level of overall noise, including from dogs. In the case of truly excessive barking, they have a complaints process that you can undertake after you’ve exhausted other avenues (they encourage people to resolve the problem amicably with neighbors, where possible). This involves making a report to the Seattle Animal Shelter which can be done with an online form here. If the barking is continuing after two weeks, further action can be taken.
LA Animal Services states that dog owners who have received a written notice regarding excessive barking, who then allow their dogs to continue barking, are committing an unlawful act. This department requires people to submit complaints about excessive dog barking in writing directly to the local animal shelter in your area, which you can find here.
The City of Houston places responsbility for responding to excessive barking complaints on to the Harris County Animal Control Services. A free public phone number is available for issues relating to dogs and other domestic animals. This area really encourages people to try and sort out the problem directly (and peacefully) with the offending neighbors. If that can’t be done, they want you to gather as much evidence as possible of the barking problem: such as keeping a “bark” diary of when it’s happening, and recording any audio of the situation. All of this will help your case if you decide to pursue an official complaint.